Urgency to get to the ball carrier is essential in keeping the ball alive when executing an offload. Get the support player into the pocket of the ball carrier. MORE
VIDEO ANALYSIS: Great try in the Super Rugby final! But forget the try, look at the skills
When the Crusaders scored their first try against the Lions in the 2018 Super Rugby final, there was so much accurate, detailed skill on display, you might be forgiven for not seeing how you could translate this to your team.
Watch the try clip first.
Here’s what you can takeaway.
Mismatch from a lineout
After the lineout, aim to get a strong runner attacking a smaller tackler.
Number 12 (obscured) has beaten 10. Another centre, 7 and 11 help drive him through the other tacklers. Certainly two of the players are driving defenders, not latching onto the ball carrier.
Notice that the white defenders are running backwards, while the red players are running forwards. Also note the game clock at 18:45.
Also, note the line of the red 9. Ideally placed to clear the ball quickly from the ruck, wherever it finishes.
From a lineout, it’s easily the best way to create “go forward”, because of the space available to run forward.
2. Attack square and support a shoulder
Get your hips up the pitch and attack straight. Get in behind as a support runner to hide from a defender.
First, notice the game clock. That ball is in the air at four seconds after the tackle is broken. The 9 wasn’t waiting to pass, he just passed as soon as he could.
8 (Kieran Read), takes the ball with his hips and shoulder straight up the pitch. The defender knows that they will have to tackle him.
The supporting runner is almost right behind him, with the 10 also there as well.
As it happens, the white defence doesn’t read the play, and there’s an easy linebreak. But even if they did, two defenders wouldn’t be that close, so it’s likely that there will be a half break at least. The runner might also be able to hold their run to take an offload.
3. Don’t stop at the ball at the ruck
If the next arriving players can’t take a pass, they don’t stop at the ruck. Instead, they go beyond, pushing the defence even further back.
We can see that the 5 and the original passer 8 have gone beyond the tackle. The defensive line is broken up and indecisive.
It takes some extra skill for 10 to drift the ball over the incoming defenders, but that’s what’s needed at the top level.
Also notice again the game clock. Only four seconds from the ball in the air for the pass.
- Receivers should aim to take the ball square. In training games, turnover the ball if there are two consecutive not-square receptions.
- Create the right mismatch. If you can get a good strong runner up against a weaker tackler, then they should aim to beat them. Bib up three players from each team in a training game. If a bibbed ball carrier is touched by another bibbed player then the bibbed ball carrier can run from another three seconds with the ball.
- Support on the shoulder. A ball carrier should have the option to pass inside or outside a short pass to a supporting player. In a training game, a short pass to a player running forward can be called a “bust ball”. They can run for three seconds as soon as they receive the ball, and a tackle doesn’t count. The ball carrier calls the “bust”.
- Clear without hesitation. In training games, play “ball down, 1 and 2 and away”. As soon as the ball is on the ground after a “touch”, it has to be played within two seconds. This is a super quick game. If the attack don’t take the pass, it’s a turnover. They will have to learn to realign quicker next time!
Here are some sessions to work on these skills