Rugby: Maul Touch

What a fantastic tool. I've found a few drills that are unfamiliar,...
Wes, Rugby Coach

DESCRIPTION

  • 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.

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OFTEN USED WITH...
Living On The Edge | Warm Up

Living On The Edge

  • 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!

Warm Up

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MORE Warm Up DRILLS

Pressure Ball

Make sure your warm-up area is marked out before the players arrive. Depending on the number of players you have at training, mark out several warm-up grids. The size of your grid is a suggestion, but around 10 meters x 10 meters. The bigger the grid, the easier it is for the attackers - they have more space. The smaller the grid, the easier it is for the defenders. Break your players into two groups, pads and passers. One third of your players will be passers; the rest will be on the pads. Have one team quickly demonstrate the game to the other players. In each grid have four players on pads, and two passers. You could have more passers; I'll leave this to your judgment. The job of the players on the pads is to put pressure on the ball carrier, to surround them and stop them from passing the ball. The players on the pads are also trying to force the passers to make mistakes e.g. drop the ball, throw a bad pass etc. The passers have to move the ball around the grid, avoiding the pads. Passers can pass the ball in any direction. Players on the pads should have a little fun, and within reason push the passers around a little. You can award points for each successful pass, and points to the defending team on the pads for every occasion when a ball carrier is surrounded or the ball carriers make a mistake. Don't forget to change the players around, and to give players on the pads a go at passing the ball under pressure. Law Variations: You could insist that passers have only 3 second to make their pass, or risk losing a point to the defending team.

Warm Up

Scoring Zones

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. Break your players into two teams, giving each team their own colour of bibs if necessary. One team goes to attack, and one to defense. Nominate a Scrum Half for each team. 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 go to ground, present the ball, two of their teammates ruck over (staying over the ball), and the Scrum Half moves the ball for the next phase of attack.The defence must commit three players to every ruck, or risk an infringement which will see tem pushed back ten meters. The ball must be moved from the ruck within 5 seconds. Make sure that the defense is employing your defensive pattern around the ruck.  Throughout the game the coach call the point of attack e,g, attack RED ZONE or Zone 2. The coach can also call the scoring zone, Score At Zone Yellow or Zone 3. As the game progresses have the players call the point of attack, and the scoring zones - but they must do this early and they must committ to that attack for a period of time. Have attacking players do what they normally would at the ruck. 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! On a mistake or after a period of time, turn the ball over so that both teams get time in attack and defence. 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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