EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Spin doctors

Spinning out of a tackle can provide the momentum to break through it and move beyond the defender. Support players need to read the spin and be on hand to take a pass. This session works on both these skills.


Warm up time: 5-7
Session time: 8-11
Development time: 10-15
Game time: 15-20
Warm down time: 5-7


What to think about

This is a skill best performed in close quarters, with contact pending, on the receipt of a pass.

Players need to take evasive action in the face of a potentially dominant tackle. They spin out of contact by leading into it with their shoulder. They must not be square-on or with their back to the tackler.

Players should have a wide base but use quick feet. A low centre of gravity will help increase the chance of success.

Set-up

  1. Recognise that you are about to be tackled when you receive the ball and take steps to avoid the “big hit”, to get beyond the tackler and the tackle line.
  2. Step into the tackle with the shoulder you are going to spin around and drive off.

What you get your players to do

Practise with your players to improve their spinning technique (see picture 1).

The ball carrier makes contact with the shoulder first, not square-on, and spins away.

Then set up two ruck pad holders, one 7m behind the other, along with two “feeders”(F1 and F2).

One player (A1) runs towards the first pad and takes a pass from the first feeder (F1). He spins off the pad to the right and passes to the second feeder (F2). He then gets the ball back from the second feeder and spins off the second pad to the left (see picture 2).

The spinning technique. The player makes contact withthe shoulder first, not square-on or with his back to the tackler.

The spinning technique. The player makes contact withthe shoulder first, not square-on or with his back to the tackler.


Development

Use the same bag set-up as before but this time with three attackers. The first player receives a pass, spins off the first pad and offloads to one of the support players. This player goes into the second pad and goes to ground for the third player to drive over, with the original spinning player picking up the ball (see picture 3).

A1 receives a pass, spins off the ruck pad to the right, gives a pass to F2, gets the ball back then spins off the second pad to the left.

A1 receives a pass, spins off the ruck pad to the right, gives a pass to F2, gets the ball back then spins off the second pad to the left.


Game situation

In a 30m x 20m box, split your team into a 10v5. The attacking team has to score as many tries as possible in three 90-second intervals. Let the ball carrier beat a defender face-to-face if he has the time and space. If he gets a man-and-ball pass, he has to spin out of the contact. Support runners have to either receive a pass or clean out at the ruck.

Player 2 takes a pass then offloads to player 3 after the spin off the pad. Player 3 drives into the second pad and goes to ground. Player 1 drives the pad holder back allowing player 2 to gather the ball.

Player 2 takes a pass then offloads to player 3 after the spin off the pad. Player 3 drives into the second pad and goes to ground. Player 1 drives the pad holder back allowing player 2 to gather the ball.


What to call out

  • “Keep your feet in contact with the ground”
  • “Use a low centre of gravity”
  • “Turn your shoulder in to the contact”
  • “Maintain your forward momentum throughout”
  • “Get beyond and behind the tackler”
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