3 simple counter plays

Work on counter-attack plays to use when returning long kicks. And then have a play to use after the first ruck from a counter – it will help you exploit weak links as they race into place to defend.

Your backfield cover should have plays in place to move their defence out of position. But don’t end there – players must know what to do next.

  1. Put three receivers at the back of the box – normally one forward, a winger and a full back (8, W and 15 in the diagram).
  2. Have three players as the kicking team. Work through these plays, with little pressure.
  3. Make sure there’s a call for each: Play 1 – Catch and switch the catcher takes the ball up and then out, then switches with the outside player, who connects with the other backfield player.

  1. Play 2A – Catch and double pass the catcher passes in-field almost immediately.
  2. That receiver passes almost immediately to the next player, aiming to get outside the chasers.
  3. Play 2B – Catch, pass and pass back the catcher passes in-field almost immediately.
  4. The receiver cuts back towards the original passer before releasing him.

  1. Develop by adding a tube and attackers.
  2. The team develops their play from the first breakdown after the kick return.


  • Make a safe catch first
  • Call the play early
  • Attack at pace
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