EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Scramble rucks

Even when your players run predictable lines, there are still going to be occasions when they need to support the tackled player. Perhaps picking up a loose pass or a move does not quite work: The ball carrier will be momentarily isolated on the ground and your players need to be over the ball to secure it. Here is a session to practise this.


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


What to think about

This is a very practical session. Players are working on their reactions and decision making, so you do not want to be stopping them too much to focus on technique. In the warm-up, you can focus on specific technical points but here you want to be working players on the situations, with plenty of chances to have a go.

The timings on this session will vary depending on the fitness of your players. There is a lot of physical work and they will tire easily. You can either work with this fatigue factor, replicating a match situation or you might want to work them in shorter bursts to retain their energy levels.

Set-up

  1. Tackled player: Fight to the ground to present the ball.
  2. Support players: Identify threats as you arrive and clear them beyond your team mate on the ground.
  3. It is better to be late and ready than early and unprepared. Good technique is crucial.

What you get your players to do

Split into 4v4 with a separate ball carrier and defender. The groups of four run around the circles (see picture 1), with only one player allowed between each cone at anyone time .

When you shout a letter, the ball carrier runs into and through one of three boxes, where the defender will tackle him (see picture 2).

At the same time, the circle attackers and defenders react to win the ball. Play until there is either a turnover or the ball is clearly won by the attacking team.

Four attackers and four defenders jogging around the circles. No more than one player between each cone (to avoid bunching). Another attacker and defender stand opposite each other in the centre.

Four attackers and four defenders jogging around the circles. No more than one player between each cone (to avoid bunching). Another attacker and defender stand opposite each other in the centre.


Development

Remove either a defender or attacker.

Throw the ball just outside the boxes in the attacking side.

Change the position of the circles so one is further from the attacking boxes.

Shout which box the attacker has to go through. He is tackled by the defender and the other players have to run across to win the ball.

Shout which box the attacker has to go through. He is tackled by the defender and the other players have to run across to win the ball.


Game situation

Split into teams of seven. Put two players from each team inside each of the two 15m x 10m boxes with a ball each and then three players from each team between the boxes (see picture 3).

Start playing two games of 2v2, full contact then release the other players. They have to decide which situation to support and can opt for two in one box, and one in the other but once in the boxes, players cannot leave them.

Finish that box on a try or infringement. You can either have one team start with both balls, or you can give one ball to each team.

2v2 in each box. The other players have to decide which box to run into help out once contact is made.

2v2 in each box. The other players have to decide which box to run into help out once contact is made.


What to call out

  • “Take players over the ball away or off their feet”
  • “Stay balanced into the contact area – chop your feet and keep low”
  • “Drive your hips over the ball so you are strongest”
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