EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Whiteboard rugby: What’s an X-Ball?

What is an X-Ball and how could this simple play be used to breakdown an organised defence.

 

The X-Ball is a very simple attacking move that can be run at any level of the game.

It involves three attackers; the ball carrier, a hard runner, and a soft runner. The hard runner will come from the outside and run back towards the ball and the soft runner will run behind the back of the hard runner.

The ball carrier’s job is to read the hips of the outside defender.

  • If the outside defenders moves their hips inside to cover the hard line then the best option is the pass out the back to soft runner.
  • If the defender’s hips point outwards, to cover the soft runner, then the option would be to pass to the hard runner.

You can then play around with this set-up in practice. During the match you won’t always line up in exactly the same way so try bunching the three together, or spreading them out, or setting them up at different depths. You can practise this in training by seeing how many times out of ten your three attackers get over the line.

Here are some activities to help work on the skills:

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