Hold defenders to retain space for receivers to move into. Here are the key points to fixing defenders which should help young and developing players to improve this skill. Generally, defenders want to chase the ball carrier, but their mind is always on whether to stay on the current ball carrier or move onto potential... MORE
Attack the sides
Start off passing in any direction to keep possession while defenders pressurise, then call a numbered try line. Attackers have to realign and all touch the ball before a try can be scored.
Set up two 20m squares side by side. Inside each square, place an equal number of attackers and defenders – between 6 and 10. Number the sides of the square 1–4 (picture 1).
Attackers pass the ball between themselves while the defence tries to intercept (picture 2). If an intercept occurs, the sides swap roles and the defenders become attackers.
When a side is called, the defence stands still – in our example “3” is called.
Attackers from both squares must score a try on the called side with every player handling the ball (picture 3). The try-scoring pass must be backwards but can be lateral, switch, miss or any other type of pass you would be happy for your players to perform in a match Defenders, although not allowed to move, can intercept the ball if it is passed to near to them.
The winners are the team that has all of their players handle the ball and score the try first. A forward pass or dropped ball is an automatic win to their opponents.
“Loud and informative, calling for the ball”. “Movement throughout the square must be sharp.” “Realign in attack to get behind the ball once a number is called.”
Here is a pressure game where the requirements for success can change in a heartbeat – just like in a real match.