This session will help players highlight their core skills under pressure. It works especially on short passes when the ball carrier is running “offline”. Offline means the passer is either running towards the intended receiver or away. MORE
Playing rugby at speed, and at a pace much faster than their opponents, is a goal many teams strive for. Going beyond what you think your limits are and playing at a turbulent pace takes your players that one step beyond the rest. At first, it will lead to mistakes, but in the longer term your opponents will not be able to cope with you.
Warm up time: 7-10
Session time: 5-10
Development time: 15-20
Game time: 10-15
Warm down time: 7-10
What to think about
If the players are unused to working at a pace faster than their normal game speed, they will find it difficult and make mistakes. Don’t get too worried or criticise them too much. Accept that the pressure and new turbulent pace will lead to errors.
In the longer run, it will become the pace and speed the players will use in the match. Opponents may be able to cope with your team’s speed and pace to begin with. However, the gaps and space will appear.
Remember it is just as important to practise this turbulent pace in defence. This ensures your team is in their defensive position first and before the attack lines up.
- For 10 to 20 seconds become the fastest players in the world.
- Don’t worry about mistakes to begin with.
- You know the ball will be recycled quicker than normal, so react and position yourself to be effective.
- If out of position, support and reorganise.
What you get your players to do
Split your players into groups of four and align them either side of you. Start the task by popping a ball to each group. The groups race each other to the far side of the area, the winners being the first to cross the line with the ball. The ball must be passed along the line of four players with every player handling it.
Split your players into groups of eight, each including a scrum half. Each group takes its turn to attack the far side of the box, initially unopposed and at “breakneck” speed. Control the attack by calling “tackle ” at various points. Carry two spare balls and give the scrum half one of them if you think the ball in play is not being presented or recycled quickly enough. The aim is to get each group playing a lot faster than they would normally. Develop by placing four to six balls around the practice area and indicate which one to use after each tackle. Next, add four opposition players and play with touch tackles.
Split into two teams of eight to play touch rugby, where the tackled player drops and presents the ball. The defence must retire five metres. The ball must be moved or picked up immediately. If you feel this is not quick enough, hand a new ball to the scrum half. Develop this by having full contact and making the game more rugby league like, while keeping up the fast pace.
What to call out
- “React and move”
- “Talk, talk, talk”
- “Think fast, play fast”
- “Everyone is moving”
- “Link with your support”