Make sure your players enter the breakdown legally – by getting tough through the tackle gate. This will also mean they’ll arrive square and in a better position to drive over the ball and win it. MORE
Rucking and beyond
Players need to focus on roles beyond their specific job such as what to do once a ruck is won or lost. This session teaches them to be in the right place to respond rapidly to improve continuity of possession and defensive systems.
Warm up time: 5-7
Session time: 8-10
Development time: 8-10
Game time: 15-20
Warm down time: 5-7
What to think about
Impress upon players the need to make a difference after the first ruck, whether as a support player, or as a covering defender. Keep asking them: “What can you do next?”
- Perform your primary role, such as winning the ball or defending the ruck.
- Think about what happens next and get into position to make a difference quickly.
- Listen and look as you move to the next situation.
What you get your players to do
Set up three rucks represented by cones and a ball at the back of each ruck, as in picture 1.
Split your players into groups of six or seven. Get them to run to the first ruck, with a couple of players rucking over the ball then passing. The final pass does not need to go to a player near the next ruck. The final ball carrier puts the ball down after running 5m.
Players then move to the next ruck and repeat. Ask them to consider who should be rucking and who should be passing.
Count down the release of the ball from each ruck to help them find their positions.
Play 7v7 (attack v defence) in a 10m square next to a 30m square. Place five players from each team in the 10m square. Throw the ball to one team, whose players must reach the other end of the square (see picture 2).
If they are stopped by a ruck, they have to pass the ball into the larger square. Play full contact rugby and stop only on infringements.
Play 8v8 in a 30m square. Bunch players together at one side. Throw the ball to one group and let play develop. Play until there is an infringement and then ask two players from each team what they were trying to do. Then repeat.
What to call out
“Stay in the game after you have done your job”
“Head up as you move to the next situation”