EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Real rugby speed

Develop players who are used to running on to – and delivering – passes at pace. This will leave defenders behind and allow you to make the best use of your line breaks.


Warm up time: 5-7
Session time: 8-10
Development time: 8-10
Game time: 15-20
Warm down time: 5-8


What to think about

It is bad rugby when a player takes the ball at half speed or even worse, standing still. It is also one of the most difficult aspects for inexperienced players to grasp because it relies on timing. In a dynamic game where the ball carrier is changing his pace according to the defence, it adds to the problems.

This session works on players gaining more experience of when to run. I would suggest you do not make a big thing of handling errors if players are, initially at least, speeding onto the pass.

Set-up

  1. Ball carrier: Run straight and hard; pass at chest height in front of supporting player.
  2. Support player: Make sure you can see the number on the back of the ball carrier before you start running. The key is pace on to the ball.

What you get your players to do

Put a ball carrier and support player about 5m apart, 5m away from the edge of a 10m square. Put a defender at the side of the box, up to 5m away (see picture 1). Get the ball carrier to run at full pace into the box, passing the ball when he is inside the pass zone (a 5m x 2m box).

The support player takes the pass and aims to run over the try line at the end of the box. In the meantime, when the first ball carrier reaches the pass zone, the defender sets off. He aims to touch the second ball carrier before he reaches the try line. Adjust the start distances for all players to suit.

A ball carrier racing into the pass zone and delivering a pass to his support player. The support player aims to avoid being touched by the defender who starts after the first ball carrier enters the pass zone.

A ball carrier racing into the pass zone and delivering a pass to his support player. The support player aims to avoid being touched by the defender who starts after the first ball carrier enters the pass zone.


Development

Start the attackers as before but the ball carrier can pass at any time. The defender now starts at the far corner of the box, only coming forward once the ball carrier comes into the box (see picture 2).

Use touch tackling and the ball carrier can choose to dummy if he wants. Alternatively, the defender starts when the ball carrier starts and the ball carrier can only pass once he is inside the box.

The defender starting in front of the attackers, with attackers only allowed to pass once they are inside the box.

The defender starting in front of the attackers, with attackers only allowed to pass once they are inside the box.


Game situation

Put three attackers at one end of a 20m x 7m box with a defender 5m to the side of them, a defender in the middle and a defender near the far end (see picture 3, fig 1).

When the attackers move forward, the defender to the side runs around and into the box to chase, the defender in the middle comes forward and the far defender runs back to the end and then forward (see picture 3, fig 2).

Using touch tackling, the defenders aim to catch the ball carrier in possession before he reaches the far end. The idea is to challenge the attackers to beat each defender at pace before they are caught from behind.

Where attackers aim to get to the other end without the ball carrier being touched. Defenders enter the box as in the picture.

Where attackers aim to get to the other end without the ball carrier being touched. Defenders enter the box as in the picture.


What to call out

“Run with two hands on the ball”
“Though you are running straight and hard, look where you are passing”
“Support player: Sprint and keep telling the ball carrier where you are”

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