EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Pheasant shoot

This session looks at situations where defenders come in from the side, such as after a break by the attack. Defenders have to look at ways of cutting down the attacking options. Attackers have to work out how to fix defenders and commit them to make a tackle.


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


What to think about

With defenders coming in from the side, it is more difficult for the attacker to fix the defender. Instead, he has to block the defender as he passes or take contact and offload.

The defender has to decide whether to block the pass with a tackle at ball height or be certain of bringing the player down.

He might be susceptible to a hand off so has to make sure he is powerful when he makes the contact. Getting his feet close to the ball carrier helps.

Set-up

  1. In attack, commit the defenders rather than run away from them.
  2. In attack, shield the pass by stepping into defenders coming from the sides.
  3. In defence, cut down the ball carrier at hip height and above to prevent passes.

What you get your players to do

Put three attackers at one end of the box, with one defender at the corner, as in the top picture. Put another defender by a cone about 2 metres along one side. Have the attackers try to score at the other end. In the meantime have the defender on the cone move out to tackle. Have the other defender run to a cone about 10 metres away before entering the box.

Adjust the cones to suit your players’ ability.

Have three attackers try to score at the far end with two defenders arriving from the sides to stop them.

Have three attackers try to score at the far end with two defenders arriving from the sides to stop them.


Development

Put three attackers in the middle of the box, and a defender on each side about 7 metres from one end. Shout “GO” and two attackers aim to score at one end, with one of the defenders trying to stop them. The other defender and attacker chase to the other end before returning to help out. If the attack score, they immediately turn and try to score at the other end, with all the players now involved.

Two attackers try to score on one try line against one defender. An attacker and defender run to the other end to join if they attack back the other way.

Two attackers try to score on one try line against one defender. An attacker and defender run to the other end to join if they attack back the other way.


Game situation

Set up three attackers and three defenders as in the bottom picture. Give the defenders a letter each. Shout out a letter. Have the attack try to score at the far end of the box, with two defenders to beat and the other defender chasing around one of the cones at the corner of the box before re-entering the game.

One defender has to run to, and around, a corner cone before rejoining the action, while the attack try to beat two defenders and score at the far end.

One defender has to run to, and around, a corner cone before rejoining the action, while the attack try to beat two defenders and score at the far end.


What to call out

  • “Attackers – don’t always run away from the defenders”
  • “Shield the ball”
  • “Defenders – communicate with each other who you are covering”
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