EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Offload mates

The angle and timing of the support player makes an offload (pass out of the tackle) work. Because the ball carrier is falling over or being manhandled by the defender, he needs to be confident that support is in place for him to release the ball. This session works on the different angles a support player can take.


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


What to think about

In offloading, it is important the ball carrier works hard to beat the defender. You also need to condition the defender to complete the tackle. Sometimes you might encourage them to only go low.

If the tacklers are only half-hearted then there is little gain because the timing of the support player relies on the ball carrier falling or moving as he would in a match.

The support player should read the ball carrier’s likely pass, calling he is there, not which side to pass it. This is because the ball carrier won’t be able to adjust to go left or right, just be able to go one way.

Set-up

  1. Ball carrier: Beat your defender then have the confidence to pass the ball to your support player.
  2. Support player: Keep telling the ball carrier you are there but read where he is most likely to pass it.

What you get your players to do

Put a ball carrier and support player at one corner of the box and a defender three to five metres away. Get the ball carrier to run into the middle of the box, take a tackle and then pass back inside to the support player (see picture 1).

Initially, condition the defender to tackle at waist height or below. Make sure the ball carrier works from both sides of the box so he passes both left and right.

An attacker running into the middle of the box, being tackled and passing back inside to his support player.

An attacker running into the middle of the box, being tackled and passing back inside to his support player.


Development

Put support players on two corners and defenders at the side and in the middle of the box, three to five metres away from the ball carrier.

The ball carrier attacks the middle of the box and can only pass out of the tackle. The defenders aim to prevent the offload and tackle the ball carrier and/or support player (see picture 2).

Having a ball carrier aiming between two defenders, with a support player on his inside and outside.

Having a ball carrier aiming between two defenders, with a support player on his inside and outside.


Game situation

Put two attackers on the edge of the box and two behind them on an angle (see picture 3). Put three defenders 10m away spread, at least three metres apart.

Get a feeder (9) to pass to the first attacker (A1) as he runs into the box. He can only pass before contact to the other front attacker (A2). The front two attackers can only pass to the players behind them (B1 and B2) out of contact. Play full contact rugby and stop if there is a ruck or maul formed.

Where the attackers at the front (A1 and A2) can only pass to each other before contact, and to the attackers behind (B1 and B2) after contact.

Where the attackers at the front (A1 and A2) can only pass to each other before contact, and to the attackers behind (B1 and B2) after contact.


What to call out

“Get hands free of the defender before passing”
“Try to get through the space where the defender was before he moved to make the tackle”
“Pass the ball up in the offload”

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