Open-field offload attack - (re)alignment and support

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Mokie, Rugby Coach


This one is put together as a 7v7, but it works fine for 10s and 15s, it'll just get crowded or players will be less involved. It works best with 6-10 players, if you have a big group consider breaking into 3 teams and playing round-robin style.

This should run more as a game than a drill and involves lots of game sense and decision making, it was difficult to categorise!

Notionally it's an offload and support game.

Objective is for attacking team to score near the posts (within the cones) by using offloads. Great game for support and awareness.

1 point for a try in the cone triangles, 2 between the cones on the try line, 5 if between the posts.

Each team gets five minutes on offence (clock doesn't stop) in which they should score as many points as possible.

No kicking.


Attacking team starts just foward of the halfway line. They should be loosely aligned, as in a game situation and in the process of realignment.

Defence has hit shields and should be ready to go and chosen their opposing mark.

Coach starts the game by kicking the ball to the offence (kick receive practice!) somewhere close to the centre of the halfway line, and then the fun starts.

Offence can only proceed passed the 22 by offloading from within one of the cone triangles. If they get there in one phase, good for them. If they get there in 5, that's fine. 

A try can only be scored if two offenders are together with the ball at the time of scoring (support) OR the ball is placed, without a defender inside, into a cone triangle.

Defenders block forward progress with hit shields. Attackers should stay on their feet and drive, if possible, before offloading.

1 point for a try in the cone triangles, 2 between the cones on the try line, 5 if between the posts. No points for a try outside the cones on the try line!

Once they get the hang of it add in the  twist - any knock on that occurs is a turn over and the now-attacking team can score 3 points if they can get a try inside one of the (yellow) cone triangles, or between the cones set on the halfway line - two-time touch rules apply (second touch is turn over).

Offence points:

  • Depth
  • Communication
  • Running in pairs/pods
  • Alignment and timing
  • Eyes up and scanning at all times
  • Drive into and through contact
  • Run good lines to draw the defender


  • 2-up on the runner to slow them down
  • Fast realignment
  • Strong position into contact


  • Half the defenders loose their hitshields. First defender into contact is one with a shield, second defender can pull the attacker to the ground
  • Go full contact, uncontested rucks
  • Lengthen the playing area to get more phases
  • Allow kicking



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