EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Pace, timing and alignment

As phase play develops, your players will find they are sometimes too flat or too deep. This session addresses the problems faced in these situations so that pace can always be put on the ball.


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


What to think about

In a fast paced game, winning quick ball should be advantageous. But if your players are flat and taking the ball while standing still, this advantage is negated.

Ensure throughout the session that at least some of the players in each group are taking the ball at pace. Also, that they are working hard to get into a good position to take the ball at pace and timing their runs to be effective.

You may have to control the release of the ball from a ruck at first to give the players a little more time. But once competent, increase the ball availability time.

Set-up

  1. Organise yourselves and react to when the next attack starts.
  2. If you find you are very flat and have no pace, pass to a player that is sweeping round and can put pace on the ball.
  3. Work hard to get into a good alignment that will allow you to time your run onto the ball.

What you get your players to do

Organise the players into groups of four attackers. Set them up as in the top picture. They align and attack by running and passing to the fourth player, who scores next to a cone. All four then re-organise and re-align to attack the line between the next two cones.

Determine when each attack starts by gradually decreasing the time between attacks. In total, the group performs four attacks.

Four players attack the line between the two cones. On scoring they re-align and immediately attack the line between the next two cones.

Four players attack the line between the two cones. On scoring they re-align and immediately attack the line between the next two cones.


Development

  • Let the players adapt their attack with miss passes, loops and switches to suit the alignment they find themselves with.
  • Add more cones, so each attack moves from left to right or right to left.
  • Create a challenge between two groups of four. Start with each group attacking the same line from opposite sides. Each has to perform four attacks at alternate cones. The winner is the group that finishes first.
Set up a challenge where two teams race against each other for four attacks.

Set up a challenge where two teams race against each other for four attacks.


Game situation

Split into eight attackers and five defenders. Place six balls at various points around the pitch. Play rugby until the attack score or are tackled. Point to a new ball, where the next attack has to start, and have the players re-align.

All players, apart from the clearing passer, must remain 5m back from the ball, behind an imaginary offside line.

In the game, attacks start from different places after each breakdown or after scoring. You control which ball to use for each attack.

In the game, attacks start from different places after each breakdown or after scoring. You control which ball to use for each attack.


What to call out

  • “Quick hands, quick feet”
  • “Receive, pass and move”
  • “Into position, get set”
  • “Keep moving as you re-align”
  • “Put pace on the ball”
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