Rugby Drill Demonstration


  • 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.

Coaching points

This is not an exhaustive list of coaching points, but you may decide to focus on some of the following coaching points, depending on your session goals:

  • Good communication among defenders and attackers. It must be encouraging, meaningful, efficient, and effective.
  • Defenders should understand that the ball is lost following a touch and form their defensive pattern at the maul for what is coming next.
  • You might discuss briefly with players why we don't compete for balls that are lost, we don't want to concede a penalty.
  • Ball presentation must be quick, moving the ball proactively away from contact following a maul.
  • Players in the maul should be aware of when the ball is out of a maul and act accordingly.
  • The Scrum Half should focus on getting the ball away, but must also be vocal at the ruck.
  • The Scrum Half pass should be effective over distance off both his right and left hand, address this later if you find a problem. Also - is the Scrum Half and First Receiver communicating enough with respect to the direction of the attack, the distance between them etc.
  • Line speed with respect to the defense. The attack should be using the maul to create traffic; fast rucks to draw defenders in - then attacking the space created. This is sometimes referred to as overloading the defense.
  • Is the attacking team being creative e.g. running any preset backs moves? Why not? Or are they just attacking down the line?
  • The attacking maul is formed quickly and without delay.
  • The ball is moved away from contact in the maul quickly.
  • Players sometimes roll off the back of a maul when they feel it is right to do so.
  • Mauls roll.
  • Opposition players cannot easily isolate the ball or locate a ball during a maul.
  • The maul is formed before moving forward, and does not move too quickly - lossibg players.
  • The maul has leadership and the members of the maul operate as one.

The Drill is often used with

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