EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

NFL touch

Using an NFL theme of gaining ground for each attack, this skills game focuses on the principle of support. It encourages players to focus on pass and follow actions and understand what good support looks and sounds like.

INTRODUCTION

After gaining possession, the next principle in attacking rugby is to go forward. NFL touch rewards this as the players advance through the boxes. However, go forward needs teammates to be in support. 

So, to advance effectively when there are defenders in front of the attack, there need to be viable options. 

Therefore, the game challenges players to understand how their off-the-ball actions and behaviours can create different attacking pictures. These provide multiple options for the ball carriers and challenge the defender’s decision making.

THE GAME

  1. Attackers try to progress through each zone. 
  2. Put four attackers at one end of the playing area. Adjust the zone sizes to suit. Probably best to start with 20m boxes and then adjust inwards.
  3. Put defenders into each zone. At the most basic level, go with one, two and then three. As the attacking team improves, increase the numbers of defenders.
  4. Defenders start at the far end of their zone and come forward when the attackers enter their zone.
  5. If an attacker is one handed touched, they flick the ball through their legs to a supporting player.
  6. If an attacker is two handed touched, they go down to the ground and pop the ball up to a supporting player.
  7. When there is a touch, the defender or defenders need to get back onside.
  8. If a defender makes a “square touch”, that is a touch with two hands when they are in front of the ball carrier, they swap with the ball carrier for the next round of attacks.

RUNNING THE GAME

  • The attacking team score points for completing each zone. So, for completing two zones they receive 30 points in total.
  • Move defenders forward after each round.
  • A round ends when there is a try, an error by the attacking team or an interception.
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