EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Pirates

This session is fun, easy to set up and works your players’ footwork and conditioning. The players will be jumping and side stepping around a “shipwreck” trying to avoid “pirates”.

The game further develops the decision making elements from the initial session. (You can also get the players to set up the “wreck”.)


Warm up time: 7-10
Session time: 20-25
Development time: 10-15
Game time: 10-15
Warm down time: 7-10


What to think about

  • Are the players using evasion skills to escape the chasers?The whole shipwrecked area is set out with obstacles and chasers to encourage agility and evasion. If your players are struggling with this take them back to basic sidestep, swerve and change of pace practices.
  • Are the players using any tactical awareness in their strategy to avoid capture?Vision and scanning the situation are key to making the correct decisions. Let the runners practice moving about the shipwrecked area without being chased before adding the chasers. This will give them an awareness of the scene and help their decision making.

Set-up

  1. Evade the four chasers (“pirates”) and avoid the obstacules.
  2. Runners are caught with a touch tackle. Once caught you must stand outside the
    practice area.
  3. Both chasers (“pirates”) and runners must stay out of the “no-go” areas. If you step into these you are penalised and must stand at the side.

What you get your players to do

Mark out the box like a shipwreck. In some areas pads and poles can be placed to act as obstacles. Split your squad into eight runners and four “pirates” (the chasers).

There are areas where all the players can go and areas neither pirate nor runner is allowed. If they go into these areas they are out of the game. Players can jump from safe area to safe area if they want. The pirates have to capture the runners using a touch tackle. Once caught the runner stands at the side. The objective is to catch all the runners.

Runners evade the pirates by jumping between the zones and avoiding the obstacles.

Runners evade the pirates by jumping between the zones and avoiding the obstacles.


Development

  • Give each runner a ball that they have to carry.
  • Change the layout of the whole practice area.
  • Create a safe zone where the pirates cannot go and a captured zone where those caught must go. Develop this so that runners can free those caught.
If players are struggling with their evasion skills, bring them back to some one versus one practice.

If players are struggling with their evasion skills, bring them back to some one versus one practice.


Game situation

Split your players into two teams of eight for a conditioned game. Use touch tackle at first before developing it into full tackle. All re-starts are tap and pass. Add several no-go zones on the pitch where neither team is allowed.

This will create a game of strategy and tactics as well as developing agility and evasion skills, especially with the width of the pitch being 40 metres.

Build evasion and agility skills on a wide pitch by adding several no-go areas.

Build evasion and agility skills on a wide pitch by adding several no-go areas.


What to call out

  • “Look for the pirate and plan your evasion tactics”
  • “Use sidesteps, swerves and change of pace to avoid capture and the obstacles”
  • “Look, react and move”
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