EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Slice and block

This session builds up a phase play move to break down an organised defence, focusing on the space outside their 10. It is easy to set up but requires a good level of skill to run the right lines and time runs. However, the angles should give your team a chance to get over the tackle line, if not break it completely.


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 play that can be run by backs and forwards. It needs constant repetition in training to allow players to naturally adjust in matches to meet the changing shape of the defence. Therefore, the session puts the building blocks in place and can be run as part of the warm-up section of training in future sessions.

In training, you can have several lines of players waiting to be fed the ball, so it can move through one set after another. Ideally, the pivot player is a handling decision maker (like a 10 or 12).

Set-up

  1. First receiver (pivot player): Call the play, attack the line, then turn slightly to see the runners. Be prepared to pass to either player or go yourself.
  2. Second and third receivers: Adjust your starting positions when you hear the call. Look at the defence before you look at the pivot player. Attack the line with conviction and expect the ball.

What you get your players to do

Put a feeder at the side of a 20m x 15m box, and two ruck pad holders at the far end facing three attackers (see picture 1). The first ruck pad holder focuses on the pivot player (P, the first receiver), the second ruck pad holder on either of the other two (1 and 2).

The pivot player calls either a “slice” or a “block”. If he calls a slice, 1 runs out, 2 runs in, with 1 going before the 2. They then pass to the player who seems to be running to the space.

On the block play (see picture 2), 2 runs in front of 1, with either a late pass behind 2 to 1, an early pass to 2 who passes to 1 on the switch or a late pass to 2. Change sides to try off the other hand.

The attackers call and execute a slice move where runner 1 angles out and in front of runner 2 who angles in. The P (pivot player) passes to either, as the ruck pad holders come forward.

The attackers call and execute a slice move where runner 1 angles out and in front of runner 2 who angles in. The P (pivot player) passes to either, as the ruck pad holders come forward.


Development

Start the attacking players at the corner of the box, and let them get into position before they are fed the ball.

Get the ruck pad holders to choose which attacker to cover.

Get the ruck pad holders to come up at different paces to challenge the timing of the runners.

The attackers call and execute a block move, where player 2 runs in front of player 1, who is running out. The pass can go either early or late to 2, or late to 1, with the early pass to 2 being popped onto 1.

The attackers call and execute a block move, where player 2 runs in front of player 1, who is running out. The pass can go either early or late to 2, or late to 1, with the early pass to 2 being popped onto 1.


Game situation

Put a ruck pad on the ground halfway up one side of a 20m x 15m box, with a ball next to it (see picture 3). Put three defenders in the box, with the ruck pad acting as the offside line.

Put three attackers at the end of the box. Using full contact, the attackers have to use the moves to get to the other end. The feeder can run and pass himself, making the inside defender “honest”.

The attack use one of the two moves against a three-man full-tackling defence. The feeder can run and pass if they want.

The attack use one of the two moves against a three-man full-tackling defence. The feeder can run and pass if they want.


What to call out

  • “Don’t creep before you start your run.”
  • “Pass hard to the player and at their body if they are close to contact.”
  • “Always be a threat to the defensive line.”
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