EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Support pockets

Urgency to get to the ball carrier is essential in keeping the ball alive when executing an offload. Get the support player into the pocket of the ball carrier.

  1. Put a defender at one end
  2. Have a ball carrier and support player run forward

  1. The ball carrier steps to one side and passes into the space he was in. The defender must follow the attacker
  2. The support player takes the pass in the “pocket” behind the ball carrier
  3. Look for: Clear calling, a sympathetic pass to the support player and a big step out to create a pocket

  1. Four attackers run up the channel aiming to score at the far end
  2. The defender must move to pressurise the ball carrier

 

WHY USE IT

It will help players develop an understanding of what support line they have to run in preparation for an offload.

SET UP

Four cones set out as in pictures 1 and 3, one ball per group.

HOW TO DO IT

  • Two attackers start on cones 2m apart.
  • The first attacker starts with the ball and runs towards a 3m coned gate (see picture 1).
  • They use footwork to fix a defender and take them to one side of the gate to create the space for the other attacker to run into and take a pass (see picture 2).
  • The defender can tackle below the waist only.
  • Each player in the group gets to perform three passes.

DEVELOPMENT

  • Once this has been mastered, set up a 4v3 in a 15m x 5m box.
  • The defenders stand 3m apart. The focus is on the ball carrier using footwork to fix and take the defender to one side and execute an offload (see picture 3).
  • Defenders can only tackle below the waist.

TECHNIQUE

The support player gets behind the ball carrier but because he does not know which side the ball carrier will veer, he does not get into position to receive a pass until the ball carrier has fixed the defender.

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