Use these activities on rotation, spending around 5 minutes on each station, then swapping twice (20 minutes in all). The first works on support roles at the ruck, the second on handling and getting into position to run onto the ball. MORE
Session on developing your phase play
Make this 90-minute session part of your pre-season preparations. It develops your players’ phase play in four clear and easy steps – warm-up, technical skills, unit skills and tactics.
WARM-UP 10 MINUTES
To warm up, play a game of touch in a 30m square box. If you have more than 8 v 8, split into two games.
Use the following rules:
- Two-handed touch, shorts and below.
- Once touched, the ball carrier has 2 seconds to pass the ball OR he can go to ground and pop the ball up once reaching the ground.
- The defence must get onside. As the game progresses, add in another rule – the player receiving a pass must be going forward (or diagonally). That will put pace on the game.
GOOD QUESTIONS TO ASK
- “Why create go-forward?” Ans: So the defence has to back-pedal.
- “How do you create go-forward?” Ans: By running onto the pass, attacking the spaces between the defenders, quick recycling after the tackle, and constant realigning to be in a position to come onto the ball.
TECHNICAL SKILLS 20 MINUTES
Set up two stations and split the team in half. Work on each station for 10 minutes each.
Station one – “Ruck and support”
Station two – “Pass and realign”
UNIT SKILLS 30 MINUTES
Forwards – lineout and maul
- 5 minutes – jumping and throwing. Work here on how to jump and the timing of the catch
- 15 minutes – catch and maul
- 10 minutes – your lineouts with a maul
Backs – handling decision-making
- 10 minutes – passing (short and long)
- 10 minutes – 3 v 2s, with three attackers coming onto a pass from a feeder, aiming to beat two defenders
- 10 minutes – your backs moves
TACTICAL WORK 30 MINUTES
Bring the players together and work on integrating the forwards and backs (see session below).
The idea is that you don’t simply spread across the field but create “hidden threats”. The “threat” player should start at least 5m behind his front line, so that he doesn’t look like part of the attack.
The best players will start walking into position as the ball enters the set piece or ruck. They continue walking, then jog before accelerating into position, giving them the best opportunity of picking the gap.
HOW TO ADJUST THIS PLAN FOR YOUR TEAM
Warm-up Suitable for all ages. Ask better players to use one-handed offloads. For older players, condition the defence so one player always does a press-up after a tackle.
Technical skills Again, suitable for all. For less able players, you might just concentrate on one station only.
Unit skills The lineout is age-dependent but certainly good for 12+. For younger or less able players, work on the basics of “jump and catch”, perhaps with a game. The backs section is suitable for all ages.
Tactical work Suitable for 13+. For younger players, play a game with only two players from each team allowed into the ruck. Have lineouts and 3 v 3 passive scrums.