Using two lines of attack can create chaos as the opposition struggles to cope with deep-lying attackers running late into gaps. Work on these “hidden threats” with this punchy exercise. Second-line players can choose when and where to enter the front line as it reaches the defensive line. That leaves defenders caught between covering different spaces. MORE
Running the show
Most teams, despite attempts to be more flexible, need the same 9 and 10 in position to run the game. “Running the show” will help sharpen these players’ decision making skills and help the other players understand the half backs’ role in different parts of the game.
Warm up time: 7-10
Session time: 10-15
Development time: 10-15
Game time: 15-20
Warm down time: 7-10
What to think about
Your 9 and 10 should be the key decision makers at as many phases of the game as possible. This often means not getting involved in contact unnecessarily and getting in position early to command the next phase of the game.
There will always be times, however, when one or both of them cannot get into position.
Many teams without a 9 in place will pick and drive through the forwards. Others have a “secondary” 9, possibly a winger, who moves in and takes over.
Most teams also have a 12 or 15 who can slot in at 10 if needed. Ensure these players also get plenty of opportunity to practise making decisions.
The key is that the players know their new roles and the Click here to download the index game plan.
- Listen to 9 and 10 and react to their calls.
- Get into attacking positions to give options to the decision makers.
- Make early calls but be flexible enough to react to the defence.
What you get your players to do
Set up different scenarios to test your 9 and 10’s decision making. Start four defenders in a variety of positions and get them to focus on defending in different ways. With three runners (A, B, C), 10 has options and decisions to make.
Start with simple scenarios (as pictures 1 and 2) so the players are confident with what they are doing. Give 10 one minute between the new scenarios to talk to his runners about what he wants from them.
- Increase the complexity of the scenarios by varying the starting positions and actions of the defenders.
- Increase the options by allowing 9 to run with the ball and the 10 to kick behind the defence.
Run a semi-opposed game where the attacking players are put in different situations in various parts of the pitch from scrums. Have six or seven defenders in different positions to cut off some options and open up others. The attacking players have to react to the defenders and attack the poorly defended areas of the pitch.
Allow the attacking players to try different options in the same situations and discuss which one is most effective.
What to call out
- “Heads up and watch the defence”
- “Call early, pass late”
- “React to the movements of the defenders”
- “10 – don’t pass until you have fixed a defender”