EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Up against it

Isolated players are a hazard for teams with attacking ambition. You need to make sure any isolated player, particularly when faced with two defenders, is going to give you quick possession. “Up against it” develops the techniques and skills for ball carriers so they can keep possession until support can arrive and secure the ball.


Warm up time: 7-10
Session time: 10-12
Development time: 10-12
Game time: 15-20
Warm down time: 7-10


What to think about

There are so many variables involved when presenting the ball in contact. How was the ball being carried? How does the ball carrier fall? Where does the tackler end up? How close are the support players? Where are the nearest opposition players?

It is no wonder that the ball carrier often chooses the wrong method of presentation and ends up losing possession.

It is important that you give your players different options to use in different situations. You then need to give them plenty of opportunity to practise in live game situations.

Set-up

  1. Avoid contact for as long as you can.
  2. Fight to stay on your feet when you take contact.
  3. Use your body to protect the ball when you do go to ground.

What you get your players to do

  1. Avoid contact for as long as you can.
  2. Fight to stay on your feet when you take contact.
  3. Use your body to protect the ball when you do go to ground.
The tackled player twists his body so he is almost parallel to the touch line. He reaches back to place the ball.

The tackled player twists his body so he is almost parallel to the touch line. He reaches back to place the ball.


Development

  • “Fight hard to stay on your feet”
  • “Stay low – you’ll be harder to get down”
  • “Tacklers – target the legs to get him down quicker”
  • “Support player – watch and react as soon as contact is made”
The defenders work together to trap the ball carrier and get him down as quickly as possible.

The defenders work together to trap the ball carrier and get him down as quickly as possible.


Game situation

Do not let the support player move until the ball carrier is on the ground.

This means the tackled player has to find a way to protect the ball “legally” until support arrives. Also, rotate players between groups.

The support player has to get to the tackled player and secure the ball before the defenders can steal it.

The support player has to get to the tackled player and secure the ball before the defenders can steal it.


What to call out

Work in fours with a ball carrier, a support player and two defenders, as in the middle picture. The ball carrier has 30 seconds in the square to avoid being tackled. The defenders have to tackle him and try to win the ball.

If the ball carrier is tackled, he has to stay on his feet long enough to let his support player get to him and secure the ball. The support player cannot enter the square until contact has been made.

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