Rugby: Mistakes Cost – Touch Variation

Sportplan rugby has played a large role in my team's love for the...
Heather, Rugby Coach

DESCRIPTION

Split your players into two teams, giving one group of players a set of coloured bibs to set them apart, and quickly tell your players the following laws:

  • Keep the law briefing, brief! Get your players moving as quickly as you can.
  • Start this game with a rugby league style touch game - when touched a player can set the ball down, standing over the ball, another player moves the ball from the ground; restarting the attack. Make it a two touch turnover game to start with.
  • Punish every mistake; forward passes, off sides, everything; be harsh. Each mistake results in a turn over.
  • When the players get going; tell them that every touch will result in a turn over.
  • On a turn over ball the defence must retreat 10 Meters.
  • Be harsh; any touch and the attack lose the ball. Any law infringements; and the attack lose the ball.
  • Referee the defense equally harshly; if they infringe; force them back 10 meters and allow the attack to continue.
  • Change the laws as you see fit, and let us know the variations that work for you.

COACHING POINTS

Focus on just a few coaching points; the points must be relevant to your session.

  • Keep the laws simple and get the players going as soon as you can, no standing around and no debates.
  • This game can be frustrating; encourage players to keep cool and to think under pressure. While mistakes cost, we can’t focus on mistakes. We need to focus on what we can do to avoid mistakes - to influence what will happen next.
  • Get players to think about how the referee sees the game; are we onside as the referees views the laws. After all; the referee is the sole interrupter of the law.
  • Can we move the ball away from traffic and into space?
  • You might ask an assistant coach to keep count of areas of focus e.g. knock on count, forward passes, touches made, balls lost etc. This could be a talking point - setting the tone for the rest of the session.
  • Communication; encourage players to talk; but also to partake in meaningful communication that directs the game, reading what is happening now and what might happen next. We need to avoid the 'Come on Lads' comments; that means nothing.

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OFTEN USED WITH...
Maul Touch | Warm Up

Maul Touch

  • 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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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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