EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Read between the lines

Support runners need to know the line a ball carrier is likely to run and predict where they will need a team mate to pass to. Players can only learn this by following their team mates in training. They must also weave through busy defences.


Warm up time: 5
Session time: 6-9
Development time: 6-9
Game time: 15-20
Warm down time: 7


What to think about

Reading the ball carrier’s movements is often a new skill for players, or one they do not realise they are using. These exercises help players anticipate their team mates’ movements and adjust their lines to be in the best supporting position.

Lateral supporters run alongside the ball carrier with deep supporters behind.

In close quarters action, the lateral support player must hold his run so he does not run past the ball carrier in contact.

The deep player must position himself behind the ball carrier to support him should he go left or right.

Set-up

  1. Watch the shoulders of the ball carrier.
  2. Communicate so the ball carrier knows where you are.
  3. Sit in the pocket behind the runner and not on his shoulder.

What you get your players to do

Set up the cones as in the top picture (or a similar set of “gates”).

The support player faces a runner and pops a ball to him as he runs past. The new ball carrier runs through the gate of cones in front of him and then turns sharply left or right through another gate.

The support player turns and follows through the first gate before reaching a position to take a pass. Add a defender to develop the drill further.

The “supporter” feeds the runner, who goes through the first gate and cuts sharply left or right. The supporter turns and follows to take a pass.

The “supporter” feeds the runner, who goes through the first gate and cuts sharply left or right. The supporter turns and follows to take a pass.


Development

Set up cones throughout the box (as in the middle picture). Put three attackers at one end of the box and two defenders about 2-3m along each side of the box.

Shout out which cones the two defenders must run to. In the meantime, attackers move forward to beat the defence. Use grab or full tackles.

Shout out which cones the defenders have to run round before trying to stop the attackers, who are trying to score at the far end.

Shout out which cones the defenders have to run round before trying to stop the attackers, who are trying to score at the far end.


Game situation

Set up three attackers and two defenders as in the bottom picture. The middle attacker receives a pass to begin the drill with team mates either side.

Once the ball is passed, the attackers aim to score at the far end, while the defenders come forward. Use full tackling.

The front attacker passes to the middle attacker. They aim to score at the far end. The defenders try to stop the attack.

The front attacker passes to the middle attacker. They aim to score at the far end. The defenders try to stop the attack.


What to call out

  • “Be ready for any pass at any time”
  • “What does this ball carrier prefer to do?”
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