Rugby coaching tips for a pick and go ruck move

The Pick and Go ruck move is best from:

  • A slow ruck. 
  • Quick ruck ball where the defence is already moving backwards.

Why it works

  • A forward at the back of the ruck picks up the ball and attacks the nearest space at the edge of the ruck. This moves the ball closer to the gain line, with a good chance of providing an extra metre of “go forward” as the close defenders are put on the back foot.
  • A good pick and go can be followed by another, which can create even better “go forward” as defenders struggle to get back into position.

Good if you have

  • Strong ball handling forwards who can attack gaps, drive low through the contact area and require more than one defender to stop them.

What players should do

  • 9 calls the “pick and go” and when he wants to pass the ball out.
  • The forward who picks and goes (the “picker”, in this example 8) gathers the ball at the back of the ruck and moves diagonally towards the side of the ruck in a low driving position. He takes small steps to stay on his feet and drive himself forwards.
  • A supporter (in this example 6) follows the picker from the back of the ruck, with additional support from a player standing to the side (in this example 7). The supporters drive the picker on and protect the ball. If the ball comes free, a supporter may pick and go themselves.

Common mistakes

The ball carrier goes into contact with the ball in front of him rather than on his hip.

Think about

  • The first supporter binding on to the ball carrier and ball to create a “seal” and driving together into the contact area.
  • The ball carrier going to ground quicker than usual. The first two supporters drive out the defenders and the next player picks and goes again.

Pick and Go ruck move

Click the link to order a copy of Rugby Attack! manual, which contains plays to help you co-ordinate attacks suitable for your team’s strengths and target a weakness in the opposition.

Click the link for a rugby coaching drill session that works on lots of different ruck situations in a short space of time.

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