When you dent their line and win a quick ruck, it pays to have a play in your locker to make a decisive break while they’re recovering their shape. Have your 9 run off the forwards with this “loop and give”. MORE
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.
- Watch the shoulders of the ball carrier.
- Communicate so the ball carrier knows where you are.
- 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.
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.
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.
What to call out
- “Be ready for any pass at any time”
- “What does this ball carrier prefer to do?”