How to stop U12s forwards picking the ball up?

How to stop U12s forwards picking the ball up?

My forwards constantly pick and go from the rucks in games and this is starving the backs from any ball. Is there anything I can do, drills etc, which would help them realise there is a time and a place for pick and go, but to do it every time narrows the game and it becomes ineffective and not good teamwork.

Simon LuxtonCoach, England
Ian McDermottCoach, England

Change therules of the game to say that after two pick up and goes the ball has to go to the backs. If the forwards pick up and go more than twice in a row then a penalty is awarded to the opposition.

Peter PhillipsCoach, New Zealand

Hi Simon,

I think what you have is a situation where your forwards have little or no confidence in their back line. Three simple questions to ask yourself with regards to this problem are

1/ Do the backs have a high turnover rate...If so the forwards will tend to try and control the game from their end.

2/ Are the backs effective with their ability to win the post tackle competition...e.g. do they get over the ball when they should.

3/ Is your Half back controlling taking the rucks and mauls…It is very important for you as the coach to enforce the rule of control for the half back or make sure the selected half-back has a strong aggressive personality otherwise the bigger boys in the team (The Forwards) will try to run the game. An even better alternative is to make the Half Back the captain or vice-captain. The half back selection should be based on their ability to follow orders from the coach.

Set rules of play, like making zone offence duties e.g. if the ball is within the 22m the forwards get 4-5 phases of forward play to crash at the line before the backs get a run but ensure you put a prop out wide running off your 2nd 5/8.

If the ball is between the 1/2way and the 22m ensure you have a loose forward running wide off the back line.

Always make the rule to have a prop running the ball into contact off of a pivot (#10) from the penalty tap if the call to run it up is made, and then run a rehearsed back play of the next phase.

Monitor your #10 because at the age of twelve a promising fly half can get over confident with their creativity which on occasion could have huge demoralizing consequence’s.

I hope some of my suggestions help out mate.

Cheers. Pete

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