If you are able to train, then you will be aiming to improve your players’ skills and tactical appreciation around specific areas of the game.
If you are in lockdown, it’s a chance to hone your session planning in readiness for your return.
To enhance learning, you are better off focusing on an “arc” of learning for a specific area. This means spreading out the training over a number of weeks, rather than dedicating one session to this.
Here’s a four-week plan for quick ball rucks, but you can split this up into more sections if you want.
Objective: Apply pressure on the defence by recycling the ball from the ruck as quickly as possible.
Week one: Ball placement
Week two: Body positions into the ruck (height)
Week three: Body positions into the ruck (drive)
Week four: Speed to the ruck
Let’s say you dedicate 15 minutes each week to the activities and assuming you have warmed up before the start of contact, you could use a mix of games and drills.
Each session may include all of the skills from all of the weeks. However, each week focuses on the specific skill, the reasons why it is important and how the players could improve their own contributions.
The mix depends on the skills of your players. Here are four ideas to help.
Making quick, accurate decisions at the ruck will help create quick ball. The role of the first supporter at the ruck is based almost entirely on the threat of the nearest defender. Here is how I define the different options and ways to coach those options more effectively. MORE
Simple to set up, these activities work on improving individual rucking and rucking as a group. There are no bags, just bodies to drive out from the tackle contest. It challenges players to find rucking solution but with a low body position. MORE
A clearer at a ruck must look to go beyond the ball. This not only drives back defenders, it frees up the ball for your scrum half to grab and maintain continuity.
This activity helps players focus not only on clearing the ruck but encourages them to target the most important factor at the breakdown - the ball - and gets them driving beyond it. MORE
Do you have a breakdown policy? If not, you should. A policy helps guide players' actions at the breakdown. Alongside accurate skill execution, it can help to win the race to the space over the ball after a tackle. MORE
Put your slow ball ruck plays into more game-like situations. This wrap play exercise is a good starting point, and you can then use it to develop other tactics.
A wrap play turns slow ball into quick ball and allows your 9 to recycle it at pace. MORE