EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Up and at ’em

This is a tough, physical session that works on players going forward in narrow spaces. The emphasis should be on ball retention in contact, with players using footwork to get to the edges of defenders while going forward. If their progress is stopped, they should recycle and attack the next space.


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


What to think about

This session assumes players have good contact skills. If not, it will highlight areas to work on.

If you have tackle suits, these will be helpful for the defenders in the first part of the session.

You can work the attack for two minutes continuously, with defenders being swapped and rotated. This replicates possible game scenarios where there are a number of phases of play.

Set-up

  1. Attack the edges of defenders and keep going forward.
  2. In support, keep tight to the ball carrier.
  3. Keep connected physically as well as through communication.

What you get your players to do

Put four attackers at one end of the first 8m x 5m box, a defender in the middle of each box, and a defender at the end of the first box (see picture 1). Playing full contact, the attack aims to get to the end of the first box. If they do score they finish the exercise. If they don’t, they have to recycle the ball and attack the next box (start from where they got to in the last box (see picture 2).

Defenders from the first box can help the defender in the second box, and so on. If the attack infringes OR steps outside the box, they go back to the start. They play continuously for one minute or longer when you decide to increase the time.

Four attackers aiming to score at the far end of the first box. If they score, then they finish.

Four attackers aiming to score at the far end of the first box. If they score, then they finish.


Development

Make the areas wider (say 10m) and put two defenders in each box and one at the back of the first one.

Condition the attack so they work on one skill – like a certain ball placement, or mini mauls, or one hand offloads.

If they don’t score but recycle, they attack the next box starting from where the last ruck was. Defenders from the previous box can help defend in the next box.

If they don’t score but recycle, they attack the next box starting from where the last ruck was. Defenders from the previous box can help defend in the next box.


Game situation

Put four attackers about 10m away from a ruck pad and two defenders about 8m away. Shout out a cone to run to and the attackers have to go past that cone before lining up to attack a 5m square by the ruck pad (see picture 3). One attacker acts a feeder.

The attack aims to score at the far end of the box. The defence enters the box from the far end. If the attack scores or the defence infringes, they finish. If not, they restart in the same positions. Play for one minute.

Where four attackers run around a designated cone and attack through the 5m box. The defenders come through the end of the box, but no further than the ruck pad to defend. If the attackers score, they finish. Otherwise they restart.

Where four attackers run around a designated cone and attack through the 5m box. The defenders come through the end of the box, but no further than the ruck pad to defend. If the attackers score, they finish. Otherwise they restart.


What to call out

  • “Ball security comes first and it is more secure the greater the forward momentum”
  • “Talk in support – tell the ball carrier what to do”
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