Tacklers need to feel confident that the right technique works. This is more difficult when they are practising with static targets. Part of the reason why a ball carrier goes to ground is that they are unbalanced, and so it's much easier to bring a moving player down to the ground. MORE
VIDEO: Perfecting the spin pass
The spin pass comes into its own when wanting to combine greater speed and distance – seeing a 10 fizz a long pass to an outside back is a thing of beauty. Here’s how to get players started…
Developing a player’s spin passing off both sides.
HOW TO DO IT
- Put two players facing each other 5m apart.
- One player puts the ball on his hip and with one hand passes it to the other, stepping forward with the same foot as the hand they’re using to pass.
- The players pass the ball back and forth 10 times before swapping hands and repeating.
- Then the players stand facing forwards up the pitch. They repeat, stepping forward one step up the pitch as they pass, turning their shoulders towards the receiver.
- Next, the players use both hands to pass the ball.
- Finally, they jog forward to pass.
Roll the ball off the hand so the little finger and ring finger are the last two points of contact.
WHAT TO CALL OUT
“Pass off the hip”
“Follow hand through to target”
“Finish with the palm facing upwards to prevent over-rotation of the shoulders”
DID YOU KNOW?
Former Ireland scrum half Peter Stringer has a unique way of passing. The ball travels like a spinning top and arrives lengthways in the 10’s hands instead of sideways. “It’s perfect to catch because you don’t have to adjust it in your hands,” says his ex-Munster and Ireland colleague Ronan O’Gara.
A SIMPLE PRACTICE
Play a game of 4 v 3 on a 25m wide x 10m long pitch. Split the try line into four. Each attacker is only allowed to score in his designated area. The defenders have to stay on the try line – they can’t move forward from that point.
An attacker scores by putting the ball down over the try line before he’s touched. He can’t dive. Play until three tries are scored. If there’s an infringement, play restarts on the attackers’ own line.
The game forces the attackers to fix defenders and use long spin passes for three reasons:
- A: They have to move the ball quickly to the space.
- B: They’re naturally spread out because of the width.
- C: They can’t score other than in the area in front of them.