EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Contact attack and defence, with “ultras”

This session was run to improve both the attack and defence contact skills. Using games, it aimed to pressurise both sides into more accurate execution, motivated by wanting to win. The “ultras” added some extra pressure.

CHALLENGE

The two techniques I wanted to work on were:

The defender getting over and beyond the ball at the tackle, rather than going for the ball.

The attacker fighting to the ground and presenting cleanly.

THE GAME

  • Play up to 6 v 6 touch.
  • If a player is touched, they can pass the ball immediately or go to the ground.

  • It’s a turnover if the next attacker doesn’t have their hands on the ball before a defender has gone over the ball.
  • It’s no turnover if the defender doesn’t get their chin and then hips over the ball.

ULTRA RULES

Ultra rules are put in place once the game is progressing and the players show they understand the game. The players liked the idea that they were moving up a level, though in fact it was just a game progression.

Attack: The attacker must present the ball in at least two movements. That is, they land, keeping the ball close to the body. Then, they snap it back to their teammates.

Defence: The defender must be lower than the chest of the closest attacker to win a turnover.

REFLECTIONS

I ran this for 15 minutes a go with three different groups. With one group, we were at the “ultra” rules very quickly. It showed me that the dynamics between players can really effect their progression.

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