In Lockdown planning: Quick ruck ball sessions, we focused on applying pressure on the defence. Now, let's plan for the other side of the ball. France's defence coach, Shaun Edwards says that it is his main metric for success: slowing down ruck possession. To enhance learning, you are better off focusing on an “arc” of learning for a specific area. This means spreading out the training over a number of weeks, rather than dedicating one session to this. MORE
VIDEO: Confidence for contact
Here’s an activity that can be used both for a contact warm-up and for increasing the contact skills of less confident players. Progresses into full 1 v 1 contact.
- Mark out 1m to 2m box (depending on the size of your players).
- Put a player at each end on their knees. Kneel about 2m about from the box, with a ball in your hand (you could use another player for this).
- Throw the ball to one player, who aims to score over the other end, while the second player tries to stop him.
- This is a fast-action game, so get the players in and out quickly.
- Progress by starting the players on one knee and eventually standing opposite each other.
Hands forward and out to catch and to tackle
WHAT TO CALL OUT
- “Low man wins”
- “Keep going forward – stay active ”
- “Focus on the hips to drive the ball carrier back”
A SIMPLE PRACTICE
In a 3m square have a 2 v 1, but the feeder can pass to either one of the three players. The players start at each end of the box. The ball carrier cannot dive to score, but has to get both his feet over the far end of the box. Develop further by putting 1 v 1, with both players 2m apart in the box, and then another player for each side at one of the corners.
In all these games, have lots of repetitions. Swap groups around, but be careful to manage size mismatches. Finish off with a 3 v 3 full contact game in a 10m long, 5m wide box. The two teams start 1-2m apart and you throw the ball to one group. Restart the same way after every infringement and then swap on another team after 30 seconds.