EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Silent running

Your team can create gaps in opposition defences by changing angles or dropping in runners from behind the front line. But if angles are too subtle or dummy runs easily read, defenders will simply cover the most likely receiver. “Silent running” develops more decisive and ruthless plays and players to take defences by surprise.


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

Running onto the ball in broken play situations requires different timing to set piece moves. The receiver has to adjust his pace and angles to match the ball carrier and fool the defence. This session recreates this uncertainty because it changes the supporting runner’s line of sight, plus forces initial running lines onto the receivers. Once they run through the variations, your players should become more comfortable at replicating this in match situations. Support players need to consider their running lines as well, sometimes holding back if the ball is not moved quickly on to the next player.

Set-up

  1. Ball carrier: fix the defence, listen for the call, sight the receiver and deliver a quick pass into their path.
  2. Potential receivers: start on one line of run, change it as the defender covers you and tell the ball carrier where you are.
  3. Support players: be an offload option by moving in behind the receiver.

What you get your players to do

Set up the tackle tubes as in the top picture. Put a feeder (9) at one side, three attackers about 3m behind the line of tubes and a defender about 5m in front of the tubes.

Have the feeder pass to the first receiver, who runs up to the tackle tube in front of him before passing. In the meantime, one attacker runs inside the line of tubes. The other, starting from behind the middle tube, runs through one of the gaps. As he emerges have the first receiver pass to this player, who tries to beat the approaching defender. The receiver can offload to the other attacker. Use full contact.

 

The first receiver fixes the tackle tube and passes into the attacker who has run through the tubes. This player aims to beat the defender or offload.

The first receiver fixes the tackle tube and passes into the attacker who has run through the tubes. This player aims to beat the defender or offload.


Development

Add another attacker and one more defender. Repeat the exercise, with the first receiver now having to make a decision on which attacker to pass to. If the intended receiver is not running fast enough he will easily be stopped, even if he has found a gap to run at. This will really test players’ timing.

The first receiver now has a choice of two players to pass to.

The first receiver now has a choice of two players to pass to.


Game situation

Split into five attackers plus a feeder (9) and three defenders. Spread out the attackers as in the bottom picture and put the three defenders about 5m away. Start with a pass from the feeder and play full contact rugby. The attack has to score at the far end, but without forming a ruck.

The attack has to score at the far end without losing the ball or forming a ruck.

The attack has to score at the far end without losing the ball or forming a ruck.


What to call out

  • “Look where you are passing and pass hard.”
  • “Run with conviction, ready to take a pass.”
  • “Hold your run so you can arrive late and at an angle.”
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