Using an inverted backline shape, your runners from a ruck can give the 9 more options to pick up the best-placed player to break the defensive line. An inverted three is a group of three players that line up so the furthest player is in front. All but the first player in the line can take the ball with a player in support to drive them out and away from the previous breakdown. It’s easy for the outside players to adjust their timing to support the first player if he’s the receiver. MORE
Runner from the deep
The pace of the attacking line can be enhanced by a player entering from a deep position. The timing of this run comes from using lots of practices like the ones in this session. Players get to know the passing shapes of their team mates and so find it easier to read the running lines and get their timing right.
Warm up time: 5-7
Session time: 10-15
Development time: 5-7
Game time: 10-15
Warm down time: 5-7
What to think about
- Is the strike runner always too flat to be effective?This is a common problem, usually caused by the player not believing that they will get there in time. A great way to develop timing is for you to hold the player back by their top or waistband and only release them when you want. After a while players start to appreciate how late they can set off, yet still arrive and be effective.
- The ball carrier doesn’t know when and where the strike runner is going to be. How can I improve this?The strike runner’s communication must be accurate. He needs to talk to the ball carrier from deep and tell him exactly when and where he is going to be.
- Front line of attackers: use passing, footwork and changes of direction to fix defenders and create space.
- Strike runners: hold your depth and hit the line at pace at the last possible moment.
What you get your players to do
Set up a ball carrier and two support players in the middle of one side of the box. The ball carrier and one supporter go round the first cone into the channel. The second supporter (the strike runner) runs round a cone further away and tries to pick a gap and run onto the ball at pace. The first two attackers draw the two defenders, who have run around a cone on the opposite side of the box, to create a space for the deep runner.
Encourage players to try different ways to create space (for instance, as shown in picture 2). Also remember that the late runner can provide a decoy for the ball carrier.
- Make the channel wider and play four against three with one attacker coming from deeper.
- Add another defender deeper so the attackers have to continue to support the strike runner once he has gone through the space.
Set up a four man attacking line working from a scrum half pass, with one player coming from the full back position. They play live rugby against three defenders and get a point for every try they score.
Let one team have five attacks and then swap round. Change the starting position of the attackers and defenders to create a variety of situations.
What to call out
- “Ball carrier: attack the defenders at pace”
- “Support player: be vocal and be ready for a pass”
- “Strike runner: look for the gap and attack at pace”