EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

The ins and outs of ball retention

Improve your players’ footwork before contact and how they protect the ball, so they retain possession. An excellent breakout exercise during a normal session.

The attacker should dominate any contact whether to offload or wait for support. 

HOW TO DO IT

A defender shuttles between the boxes.

An attacker loops through both boxes. In the first one, they execute an “in-to-out”  technique, targeting the tackler’s left shoulder and keeping the ball available for an offload.

In the second, the “out-to-in” technique is used. The ball carrier hits the tackler’s right shoulder, drives down low and awaits support.

TECHNIQUE

In-to-out: In the last few strides, the attacker runs directly at the defender’s left shoulder. In the final stride, they step outside and straightens looking to drive past the defender’s left hip and keeps the ball on the outside (see top picture). This keeps it available for an offload or rip (see inset).

Out-to-in: In the final few strides, the attacker moves away from the defender, then steps back in and drives into their right shoulder (see bottom picture ). The ball is kept away from the defender as the ball carrier drives forward while they await support (see inset).

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