EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Never outnumbered

It happens frequently – a ball carrier facing two defenders, isolated from team mates. Players in these situations need to work out how to protect the ball and wait for support. This session works on the roles of both ball carrier and the support player. It is complementary because it also develops the defenders’ roles.


Warm up time: 5-7
Session time: 8-10
Development time: 8-10
Game time: 15-20
Warm down time: 5-7


What to think about

Though the session is set out formally with cones, as soon as the exercise starts it becomes a mess. Therefore, the supporting player cannot be left with just one option to think about. He has to react to the ball carrier, who in turn is reacting to the defenders.

Encourage the ball carrier to be determined to make ground with the ball. This will give him vital momentum in the tackle contest and, perhaps, allow him to place the ball back more effectively to his team mates.

Set-up

  1. Ball carrier – attack hard and stay on your feet for your support players.
  2. Support player – move in behind the ball carrier being ready to drive him through the contact or rip the ball away.
  3. Defender – communicate who is tackling the player and who is tackling the ball.

What you get your players to do

Set up eight cones in a small box of 5m surrounded by a large box of 8m (change distances to suit players). Put a ball at each end of the larger box. Have four players at the corners of the smaller box, each with a number. 1 and 2 play against 3 and 4. You call out a number. That player goes around the corner of the larger box and then picks up the ball to attack.

The other three players go around their own corners and then re-enter to play. The team with the ball aims to score over the far line of the smaller box.

Give each player a number, then shout out one of the numbers.

Give each player a number, then shout out one of the numbers.


Development

Set out cones with four attackers and four defenders as the bottom picture. Give the two attackers at the far line a number 1 or 2. Shout out a number and that player has to turn around, retrieve the ball and attack. The other players move in, playing full contact rugby.

The attack aims to score at the far end. They have another attempt if they score or make it past the middle set of cones. Otherwise the teams swap roles.

The nominated player runs around his cone and gathers the ball. The others follow. The attack aims to score at the end of the small box.

The nominated player runs around his cone and gathers the ball. The others follow. The attack aims to score at the end of the small box.


Game situation

Put five attackers and four defenders at the side of a box. Put two defenders and an attacker about 5m inside the box, 5m away from each other. Pass the ball to the attacker who aims to score at the other end.

Once the pass is made, all the other players can join in, playing full contact rugby. Swap roles after each attempt.

Shout out a number of a player. He turns to gather the ball and attacks to score at the far end.

Shout out a number of a player. He turns to gather the ball and attacks to score at the far end.


What to call out

  • “Don’t go into contact ball first”
  • “Don’t give up ground in the contact”
  • “Drive on the hip of the ball carrier and keep talking”
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