Skill Practice Description • The game begins with touch tackles. • Once tackled the ball carrier is allowed to step beyond the tackle line and the support from either side run toward (or attack) the ball. • The pass must be delivered behind the tackle line and not put back in front of the defence, so speed and decision making is vitally important. • Develop the game to grip tackles below the rib cage so the ball can be off loaded. • Progress to full tackles and the ball carrier must fight to keep the ball available. • The support must be aggressive in attacking the ball and getting between and beyond defenders. • When in full contact and the ball carrier cannot off load immediately, rucks and mauls may be played. Key Coaching Points • The game relies on good support play in all areas. This game illustrates the need for consistent and aggressive support. • The supporting players need to work for the ball carrier and attack the ball, getting in behind the defence for an off load. • Once the tackle line has been breached the attack must not allow the defence time to reorganise. • When progressed to full contact, the demand on decision making increases
Decision making is a tricky skill to coach. Danny Wild the Leeds coach uses conditioned games with breakout technical sessions to improve this process as well as working on some groundwork skills
Support Line Breaks & Offloads
Great tries are often the result of great support play. Coaches are now using more games in their training with set constraints put in to dictate what the coach wants to work on
Principles of play-Support
There are many versions of ruck touch with the support players needing to recognise the needs of the tackled player.
The defence should be conditioned to provide increasing pressure to the tackle area. This will develop the situation recognision of the attacking players who must play accordingly. Robotics in rucking regardles of the situation should be discouraged and the option of picking upthe ball and going forward should be an option
Skill Practice Description • The objective is to increase the commitment to supporting a line break. • The teams play continuous touch, grip or tackle. • Stage 1: when a score is made all attacking players must touch the try line within 3 seconds or the try is disallowed and a turn over is awarded. • Stage 2: when a try is scored all attacking players must touch the ball on the ground within 5 seconds or the try is disallowed and a turnover is awarded. • Play starts again direct from the try line. • The coach may split the defence so cover defenders can challenge the effect of support play once the first line has been breached. Key Coaching Points • Encourage supporting players to angle toward the line break and not stay wide and lateral. • Encourage all attacking players to react and support a line break. • Speed of reaction. • Communication and team work
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.