EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Trends to watch for: Gorilla rucks, two-man punch and second-man plays

Professional rugby on TV show cases lots of skills. Here are three to look out for that you can get your players to replicate in training and bring into their game-play.

1 TWO-MAN PUNCH

Sometimes known as the “latch”, a player (often a forward) takes the ball close to the gain line and has another forward bind on or push him through the defensive line. As soon as the ball carrier goes to ground (which he often does with the extra push from behind), the other forward can quickly be over the ball, perhaps in a ruck gorilla shape (see below).

With the defence having to move back and around to compete, this can easily lead to quick ball with only the tackled player and his “punching” team mate in the ruck.

Use this exercise to develop this play:

2 THE ATTACKING GORILLA RUCK

Referees are looking for positive play over the ball after the tackle. That means the next attacker arriving at the ball has to stay on his feet and not “seal” off the ball from the defence. Sealing off is where the attacker rests his hands and often his elbows on the tackled player.

The “attacking ruck gorilla” puts his hands beyond the tackled player, keeps a wide base with his feet and is able to push up and into any arriving defending player. He’s able to support his bodyweight on his feet if there’s a contest.

It looks good for the referee because to take up this position effectively, the gorilla cannot be falling forward and he doesn’t prevent a contest for the ball.

Use this exercise to develop this play:

3 THE SECOND MAN PLAY

A lot of teams will use the “second man” play which comes from Rugby League. It’s often poorly executed at lower levels of the union game because players don’t know how to use it.

The ball carrier has two options. Either to make a short pass to a player who is running an angle towards the passer, or to pass behind this player who is running an angle away from the passer. The player who’s running behind the front player should start at least behind this player and must run out and away.

Against an organised line of defenders, these angles and hidden players can open up half gaps for the receiver to punch through.

Use this exercise to develop this play:

Share this
Follow us
X
X