EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Slide pass

The “slide pass” has been used to good effect recently by a number of international teams. It is a flat pass to a player who is drifting outside his defender. Introducing the move also lets your team practise some good basic passing and running skills.


Warm up time: 5-7
Session time: 10-15
Development time: 10-15
Game time: 15-20
Warm down time: 7-10


What to think about

The slide pass is quite a risky play. It can make the ball carrier drift without committing defenders. However, if the move is set out clearly, the players should be able to distinguish between “sliding” and preserving space.

A slide pass is most effective against a drift defence, where defenders are always wary of runners going back against the direction of the attack.

To work the ball carrier must convince the defence that the attack is pulling them wide, before attacking the inside shoulders of the defenders. The “sting” is a flat pass given to a runner angling across the pitch and getting outside the defender.

To be really effective the move needs a couple of runners attacking against the direction of the drift. The defence will then be hesitant about marking the runner on the outside.

Set-up

  1.  Deliver the pass as flat as possible.
  2.  The receiver runs the same angle as the passer.
  3.  Get on the outside of the defender.

What you get your players to do

Lay out cones and a bag as in the top picture and work the players in pairs with a ball. Start with the players running straight, before changing direction at the yellow cones. The receiver has to match the angle that the ball carrier is running at. When the ball carrier reaches the red cone he delivers a flat pass across the front of the tackle bag to the receiver angling away.

Start off slowly with the players not passing too far and then increase the intensity.

Gradually increase the pressure on the passer by moving the red cone towards the tackle bag.

Gradually increase the pressure on the passer by moving the red cone towards the tackle bag.


Development

  •  Move the red cone closer to the line of the tackle bag so there is less margin for error with the pass.
  •  Swap the tackle bag for a live defender, who has to try and intercept the pass.
  •  Put a defender in front of both players so the receiver has a target to get outside of.
Player 3 runs at the same angle as player 2, to get on the outside of his defender before receiving the pass.

Player 3 runs at the same angle as player 2, to get on the outside of his defender before receiving the pass.


Game situation

Game 1: Set up a three on three situation in a box. On the attacking team, either the initial ball carrier (1) or the first receiver (2) can run across the pitch. The player outside them (3) has to react to the run.

Game 2: Add a fourth attacker coming into the line from deep. His role is to fix one of the defenders and create space out wide. The player delivering the pass has to read the defence and pass to the player in space.

Player 4 runs into the line shouting for the ball. This fixes the third defender to make space for player 3 on the outside.

Player 4 runs into the line shouting for the ball. This fixes the third defender to make space for player 3 on the outside.


What to call out

  •  “Change direction sharply”
  •  “Accelerate out of the change of direction”
  •  “Receiver: twist your upper body towards the pass”
  •  “Passer: it’s a flat pass in front of the receiver”
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