EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

The hooker strikes back

This activity will help you develop your hooker’s ability to strike the ball in the scrum now that big hits at engagement have been consigned to the past.

  1. Put two ruck pad holders far enough apart so a hooker can fit his head through the gap.
  2. Have a scrum half feed the ball to the hooker for him to strike
  3. Work on the timing between the hooker and the scrum half

  1. Practice with the hooker between two props to get his foot position correct
  2. The right foot should be in front of the left with more weight on the left foot
  3. Whatever binding the hooker has with his props, it must allow him the ability to strike for the ball

  1. The hips normally initiate the movement to strike – it gives him more reach
  2. The best strike is more like a sweep through the loose head’s feet

WHY USE IT

With the new scrum engagement process you must develop your hooker’s ability to strike the ball. Gone are the days of the big hit with the ball rolled under the hooker’s feet to the second row.

SET UP

A ball, two ruck pads.

HOW TO DO IT 

Your hooker leans against two players holding ruck pads with space between for his head. The hooker binds with his arms around the players. This works on his balance. When in the engage position, the hooker will receive a tap from his scrum half and the ball will be put in with the hooker striking the ball (see picture 1).

TECHNIQUE

  • The hooker has to put his weight on his non-striking foot enabling him to keep his striking foot free to strike the ball once the scrum is set (see picture 2).
  • Pre-scrum, he slightly  faces the scrum half so on the engage his body is turned towards the ball (see picture 3).
  • When striking, look for an even sweep of the foot as this will be more accurate.
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