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.
From a turnover in contact the attackers pass the ball wide one way and then a deep wide pass back in the other direction to pull the defence out of shape and create an opportunity to attack. Key factors : Wide flat pass - Players support from depth - Deep wide pass - Running and swerving past the defender
Skill Practice Description
• Two teams play normal touch rules.
• 5 touch turnover.
• When a touch is made, the game pauses and all defenders need to close in and place a hand on the shoulder of another defender. So all the defenders are bunched and in contact with each other.
• The coach calls ‘play’ and the attack restarts.
• The progression may be to leave one defender out of the bunch, which may provide a different challenge to the attack.
• Then leave two defenders out of the bunch and slowly release the conditions to see if the attack can consistently identify opportunities to outflank or penetrate the defence.
Key Coaching Points
• Peripheral vision and general awareness.
• Intuitive decision making.
• Support and team work.
Relevance to the Game
• This game is designed to challenge the observation and decision making ability of the attack.
• For the defence, it challenges the ability to cover quickly with both drift and sweeping defenders