EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Cover and contest

Help your backs communicate, cover and then compete for the high ball under pressure. Creating match-like scenarios develops their ability to identify which areas to cover when receiving kicks.

Spatial awareness and jump-catching skills are tested here. You can mix up players and combinations, and also include back-row forwards to make up the numbers (such as when the front five are doing scrum profiling).

  1. Set out two back lines (or skeleton back lines).
  2. Have the 9 pass to 10, who must kick or pass the ball.

  1. If he kicks, he aims to make a contestable kick for his midfield players to chase.
  2. The defending centres should try to “shepherd” their chasers by running with or in front of them (be careful not to illegally obstruct!).

  1. If the defence is hanging back in anticipation of the kick, the 10 should pass to ensure that the opposition are kept honest.
  2. Use touch tackling only.
  3. You can also work from a box kick situation by using a blindside chasing winger.

TECHNIQUE

  • Attacking 10: look for spaces, but ensure your chasers have a chance to challenge for the ball.
  • Defenders: communicate who is covering and who is contesting.
  • Catcher: call early. Run and jump forward onto the ball, don’t just stand and jump.
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