Unless your players get into position quickly, they won’t be able to run onto a pass at speed and attack space. This exercise gets them realigning fast so they can master this challenging skill. MORE
VIDEO: Skills zone pop and offload exercise
Use this simple activity as a breakout from games of touch rugby to work on your team’s pop passing skills and offloading from the ground.
Handling and close support
HOW TO DO IT
- Put a column of up to eight players in front of two cones, slightly offset, no more than 5m away.
- The front player has a ball and runs out. Using the cones as a guide steps to the side and pops the ball into the space they have left behind.
- The next player follows the ball carrier and takes the pass.
- The next pair of players repeats, and so on, with all the players having lots of goes.
- Then, have the ball carrier approach the cones, sidestep and then go to ground and pop the ball up to his partner.
- Develop by having a defender with a ruck pad in front of the cones. They only put pressure on the passer, never the receiver.
The step to the side is essential because it creates the habit of drawing a defender. Plus all the passes should be upwards, both pops and offloads.
WHAT TO CALL OUT
- Two hands on the ball.
- Flick the ball up with the wrists.
- Turn the shoulders to pass.
- Leave the ball in the air for the supporting player to run onto.
DEVELOP THE PRACTICE
- Play a game of 6 v 6 touch rugby in a 30m box. When a player is touched, he has to pass the ball within two seconds, or go to ground and pop the ball up.
- The player who has touched the ball carrier cannot touch the next ball carrier. With older or more experienced players, have the toucher go onto their front before returning to the game.
- The game should encourage short passes and support players running onto the ball to create go forward.
- Break back out to the activity every 5 minutes, or have small groups doing the activity at the same time as the game.
- Rotate the groups in and out of the game.