The breakdown has become a significant area for coaches and players to focus on. All players now need the technical skills and the intensity to compete at the tackle area and if players are poor in this area teams will be exposed. Some teams will select a specialist in this area and combine his skills with tackle technique from other players so that they work in units to turn over possesion
Attacking close around the fringe can minimise risk of losing the ball and can help turn slow ball into quick ball, putting the defence on the back-foot.
The first wave of attackers identify space and punch through the first line of defence. The ball carrier looks to move the ball quickly and away from covering defenders. This exercise tries to copy game situations as players cover their team mates in defence
Modern defensive lines are well-organised and hard to break. It depends on the quality execution of attacking fundamentals. A good introduction is 'unders' and 'overs' running lines. Log in to see the full session.
In groups of 4, players must support each other through a tight channel of tackle shields, before panning out to complete lateral passes to the wing.
Support play is essential to rugby, particularly in sevens where there is more space. This clip sums up the importance of support. The Eastbourne College scrum-half is isolated and turned-over. Eton then counter-attack and, despite the best efforts of a single Eastbourne defender, they are able to secure the try thanks to an offload to a support runner.
This drill allows you to develop decision making by varying the attack and defence continually thus accelerating learning
To execute an offload you need to have support players in the right area, here the ball carrier knows he has support and is able to take a risk and offload out of the back of the tackle. Prior to the offload the ball carrier works hard to stay on his feet. Key factor : Leg drive - Twist and work the body in contact - Control ball one handed - Communication from support players
Having a stable scrum allows the back row especially the number 8 to go forward and gain valuable yardage. Here the intention is to go forward through the Number 8, suck in the opposition back row and then go wide.
Lions 2009 support drills, with a progression
A good start for developing offload and tackle skills, allowing you to manage the amount of contact in the tackle whilst performing the skill successfully. Key factors : Strong base - Lead with arm and shoulder - Keep looking forward with head up - Wrap arm around legs / waist and squeeze tight with other arm - Use attackers bodyweight to rotate your body
Scrums are a great platform to attack from in seven's, notice the fly half (2nd reciever) is directly behind the scrum and can choose which way to attack. Key factors : Work as a unit - Strong core - Tight binding - Leg drive
Patterns of play from a scrum vary immensely - here the point of contact is moved out from twelve to thirteen, this results in the play and support stretching the defence.
Developing play from the scrum is an important part of the understanding of how the scrum is part of a gameplan
Lions 2009 support and continuity work
This drill incorporates two main areas, supporting the ball carrier and the subsequent delivery of quick ball, developing understanding of where to play to after contact. i.e. into space
This drill is an effective method of teaching players how to support the ball carrier effectively and within the laws, through the gate. A quick drill to setup and for the players to develop understanding of roles required in support.
Creating quick ball requires players to be able to manage the breakdown/ruck area. This exercise lets the players practice clearing defenders that are slowing down the recycling of possession.
A development of continuity is to create and use the quick ball. A drill which works on this principle, posing decision making opportunities thereby establishing better continuity.
Support is an essential part of continuity, in this drill the support player needs to stay in a position to catch the ball from the top of the bag as it is tackled.
This drill is an effective method developing understanding of support lines after a contact or collision situation. The players can be instructed to attack any of the three pads and play accordingly therefore creating some degree of decision making.