Rugby: Contact Relay

I am so pleased with all of the drills and advice on rugby. I am a...
Mokie, Rugby Coach

DESCRIPTION

Break your players down into groups of 3.

In each area there should be 1 player with a tackle shield, 1 player with a tackle bag, and one with nothing.

Tell players to do the following.....

  1. One player stands five meters from the start of the channel holding up a tackle bag.
  2. One player stands at the opposite end of the channel with a tackle shield.
  3. One player will be running and making contact at any given time.
  4. The Player with nothing in hand runs to the player with the pad and drives them across the grid.
  5. On reaching the end they swap roles and the other player runs across the grid to the tackle bag, hits hard, and makes a tackle at the end of the grid. Following the tackle the players swap roles the new player runs across to the player with the pad and the exercise continues.

COACHING POINTS

Don't feel that you need to focus on all of the following coaching points, pick the points that are closely realted to your own session goals or add some of your own!

  • Players communicate with each other to ensure smooth hand overs and encouragement for each other.
  • The tempo of the session is high, the work-rate should be challenging.
  • Players make a strong hit with their shoulder.
  • Players drive through the contact.
  • Player foot position should allow them to apply the strongest hit and drive while staying control.
  • Players wrap their arms around the target, possibly targeting the area behind the knee.
  • Players drop their shoulder in advance of the contact to increase the strength of the impact.
  • Players get to their feet quickly.
  • There is evidence of changes of foot-speed when approaching a target.
  • Players heads are up, scanning and adjusting body position etc. based on what they see.
  • Players take contact and make contact safely.

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Split the players into two teams, giving each team their own set of bibs. Two different colours that clearly define the teams. Keep your player briefing, brief. It's important that you get your players moving as quickly as possible. Tell the players that we will be playing One Touch Ruck, see the laws surrounding this game in the Warm-Ups section of the SportPlan site. Briefly - when an attacking player is touched while carrying the ball: they go to ground and either pop or present the ball for a minimum of two supporting players to ruck over. The defence should behave as they normally would at the ruck, committing two players who will not compete for the ball or go into contact. The defence should employ their normal patterns around the ruck. The attacking team can have three touches in a row between the 15 meter lines, if they move the ball to the either of the 15 meter channels they can have another four touches in that channel before having to move the ball back out. If the attacking team moves quickly from one 15 meter channel to the other (exploiting space), they get a bonus of 4 touches in that zone. If any attacking team exceeds the number of touches they can sustain inside a channel, the ball is turned over. Play with these laws a bit - keeping an eye on what you want to achieve in this session. The normal laws of rugby apply, any law infringements result in a turn over. There is no kicking in this game. Don't forget to give the defence a turn in attack, if for any reason the attacking team is particularly good at retaining the ball. If they are, well done you as a coach!

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Be brief when telling the players the laws of this game, it's important to get them moving quickly. This is not a contact game, but there will be some light contact. Break your players into two teams, giving each team their own colour of bibs if necessary. One team goes to attack, and one to defence. Nominate a Scrum Half for each team, it will be their job to move the ball from the back of the maul and out to an attacking line. There is no kicking in this game. Normal laws of rugby apply e.g. a forward pass will result in the ball being turned over to the opposition. If an attacking player is touched: they must stop and turn, a maul is then built based on how you have trained your players to Maul. Only four players should be in the maul - but every player should be able to maul - including the backs! When you start playing this game make sure that the defence is employing your defensive pattern around the maul. They will commit 4 players, but will not do anything more than provide light resistance. Once formed the maul can take four steps before moving the ball. If there is a delay in creating the maul, or the quality of the maul is poor - the ball can be turned over. Depending on your goals decide on the number of touches you wish to allow e.g. unlimited is not a bad option as mistakes will be made! If a team has been in possession for a long time, don't forget to turn the ball over to give the opposition a run. Don't hesitate to shape the game to focus on your session goals, and let us and other coaches know what worked for you.

Warm Up

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