Finding channels for a counter attack

What you tell your players to do in this session

  • The first player to the ball must secure it, then listen and observe.
  • Move the ball away from the initial catch or gather quickly.
  • Support players need to communicate where the space is.
  • The first supporter must move towards the ball carrier to offer options. Other players must move to likely reception points. For example, these players should spread themselves across the channels.

What you get your players to do

Set out three channels (A, B and C), with the middle channel wider than the others. Have a player stand in each channel, then throw or kick a ball into one of the channels.

The player in that channel gathers the ball. All three players then move the ball, using switches, passes and loops, into another channel as designated by you. The players should try to finish in this channel by the time the ball carrier has passed you.

Rugby coaching session to get players finding channels through which to attack

Develop rugby coaching session

This session can be developed as follows.

  • Add defenders to the channels.
  • You should tell them which channel to move into. Then the attackers have to avoid the defenders when trying to move the ball to the designated channel. For example, set up the defenders in channel B, attackers in channel A, and throw the ball into channel C.
  • Vary the length and height of your throw or kick.
  • Players might have to chase back, or take the ball when a defender is close.

What to call out in the rugby drills

  • "Ball carrier – pass and support."
  • "Supporters – tell the ball carrier where the space is."
  • "Ball carrier – move the ball away from the bulk of the defence."
  • "Ball carrier – move forward to get your supporters onside."

To get more rugby coaching sessions, which have been specially created for coaches of junior players, click here to order a copy of my Coaching Rugby manual.

Click here for a rugby coaching session to help players improve communication so they can open up channels to run into.

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