Improve your players’ footwork before contact and how they protect the ball, so they retain possession. An excellent breakout exercise during a normal session. The attacker should dominate any contact whether to offload or wait for support. MORE
Rapid line breakers
The ability of your players to find that crucial half gap in a defence gives your team go forward momentum. This session works on executing the right footwork and support play to exploit line breaks.
Warm up time: 5-7
Session time: 10-12
Development time: 10-12
Game time: 15-20
Warm down time: 5-7
What to think about
A line break is not always a clean break. However, the key to breaking the defensive line must be speed through the potential contact area.
Too often, a ball carrier will “step and dance” too much and lose his momentum. Encourage your players to have conviction through the contact area.
All players should have a plan with ball in hand to break the line. Some will be more direct than others. But use this session to build the continuity of play once the break has been made. This exercise includes a crucial role for the support player.
- Attack the spaces between defenders by attacking the defender first, then the space, as in the top picture.
- Support players must get in behind the ball carrier and then offer either close support or an offload option.
What you get your players to do
Mark out two channels inside the square with cones (see the middle picture) and put three defenders at the end of the channels.
Have a feeder pass to one of two attackers. The defenders can only move forward once the attackers move into the channels inside the box.
The attackers can pass the ball at any stage, but cannot run outside the channels. They aim to score at the far end.
- Change the widths and lengths of the channels to create different gaps and different “thinking time” for defenders and attackers.
- Add one attacker behind the front line of current attackers.
- Start one of the defenders 2 metres to 3 metres behind the others.
Set up the box as in the bottom picture. Put three defenders and five attackers at the side of the box with some cones in the box to mark out a ruck area.
Shout out A, B or C. This will indicate the width of the attacking area. Have the attackers and defenders move into the box with one attacker feeding his team. Play full contact rugby, including rucks and mauls.
What to call out
- “Attack with conviction”
- “Cut hard angles”
- “Don’t pass out of contact unless you are certain of the pass”
- “Turn to present if a heavy contact is inevitable”