“Split” touch rugby to create overlaps PLUS tackling, contact and coaching tips

How many times have you seen an overlap go to waste? Not a 2 v 1, but if you have 4 v 3 or 5 v 3?

It’s not that easy though. They are lots of moving parts, and each player has to ensure they perform their role to “fix” their defender. A fix means that the defender is fixed onto the ball carrier, and won’t slide over to cover the next player.

Plus, to make things more complicated, your players need to identify the overlap too.

In the activity, Draw and pass to score, Mark Calverley builds up the skills required. Good habits at this stage allow the players to perform better under pressure.

I’ve used this exercise, and variations of it, plenty of times. Because the players have to “go around the corner”, they are forced to straighten up. It overemphasises their actions and is sometimes more difficult than in a game-situation.

You can this as a breakout session to complement a training game. The game I use is called “split”. You play touch rugby. When you shout “split”, at the next touch, the ball carrier goes to ground and three defenders have to touch the prone ball carrier and remain touching the ball carrier.

Those defenders are only allowed to move once the ball has been passed from the ground. It should create an overlap, at least on one side of the pitch. The attackers need to identify that overlap, and then execute.

Don’t expect good execution, and certainly don’t expect the players to identify the overlap! It will come though.

Also in this newsletter:

Tackling (practice plan): Torpedo drive for side-on tackles

Contact: First in clears the threat

Coaching: Add some zip!

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