EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Look after it

Ball presentation is crucial to ensuring quick, clean possession for the attacking team. The tackled player must get the ball back as far as he can towards his team. He should also control the ball for as long as he can, without being penalised for holding on.


Warm up time: 5-7
Session time: 10-15
Development time: 10-15
Game time: 15-20
Warm down time: 7-10


What to think about

One important factor in securing quick, clean possession at the tackle situation is the decision making of the arriving support players.

Players must arrive with their heads up, looking at what is happening. The first player to arrive has to decide whether he can pick up the ball and play it, or whether he has to clear over and secure the ball. This decision depends on the proximity of the defenders and whether or not they are competing for the ball.

The rest of the arriving support players have to base their decisions on what the first player does. They should only enter the tackle situation / ruck if they are needed to clear defenders out and win the ball.

As a rule of thumb, if you have to commit more than four players to a ruck, then your players are not doing their jobs efficiently.

Set-up

  1.  Be aggressive taking the ball into contact.
  2.  When tackled work hard to land on your side or your front.
  3.  Twist your upper body back and reach out with the arms to present the ball.

What you get your players to do

Players work across the width of the pitch in groups of five, comprising three attackers and two defenders. The defenders stand one behind the other. The ball carrier takes the ball into the first defender and goes to ground. He has to get the ball as far away from the tackler as he can. The first support steps over the tackled player and protects the ball. The second support player picks up the ball and runs at the second defender.

The tackled player twists his upper body back and reaches out with his arms to get the ball away from the opposition.

The tackled player twists his upper body back and reaches out with his arms to get the ball away from the opposition.


Development

Add more defenders so they now defend in pairs. The ball carrier has to stay strong in contact and wait for the support to tell him to go to ground. He has to present the ball cleanly and the support players have to secure possession. Gradually build up the intensity.

The first support player stands in a strong position over the tackled player.

The first support player stands in a strong position over the tackled player.


Game situation

Two teams of five play full contact rugby. Starting 5m from their own try line, the attacking team has to keep the ball for as many phases as it can. The defending team can compete legally for the ball at the breakdown, but if a player gives away a penalty, they are sin binned until the end of the attack.

Score two points for winning quick phase ball (in less than three seconds), one point for securing slow phase ball and three points for a try.

The attack ends with a try or an infringement.

The two defenders keep running round behind so the cyclical exercise can continue.

The two defenders keep running round behind so the cyclical exercise can continue.


What to call out

  •   “Get your hands as far back as you can with the ball”
  •   “Keep a hand on top of the ball to control it”
  •  “Listen to the referee telling you when to release the ball”
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