EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

VIDEO: Be a Pukka rucker

Get the detail right at the ruck to make sure that the players arrive at the right angle, the right height and the right speed. This activity will concentrate on the right angle.

 

THE SKILL

Arriving at the ruck at the right angle and height.

HOW TO DO IT

  1. Put a ball carrier on his belly just in front of a narrow gate (of ruck pads, or tackle tubes).
  2. Put a defender on the other side of the gate and then a support player on his front to the side of the gate.

  1. The ball carrier gets up, goes through the gate and into the ruck-pad holder (note that we do not normally encourage this, but it helps work on the support player).
  2. On contact he goes to ground and presents the ball.
  3. The ruck-pad holder either goes over the ball or leans forward.
  4. In the meantime, the support player has to get to his feet, run through the gate using an L-shaped run. He then clears out the ruck-pad holder.

DEVELOPMENTS

  1. Develop by having a pole across the tackle tubes to help moderate height.
  2. Start the support player from different positions.
  3. Finally, add in another defender without a ruck pad who tries to steal the ball.

COACHING TIP

  • Encourage hips up the pitch when driving into the ruck pad.

WHAT TO CALL OUT

  • Drive hard off the outside foot on the point of the L.
  • Touch the ground before going through the gate, to help maintain the right height.

DEVELOP THE PRACTICE

  • Play a game of 5 v 5 touch rugby in 20m wide by 30m long box. When the ball carrier is touched, he has to go to ground and present the ball. One player from either side can compete for the ball, so there’s a 1 v 1 ruck.
  • After every two minutes change the direction of play so the game is on a wider pitch. This will challenge the players to arrive from further away, developing their appreciation of the angles of arrival at the ruck.
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