Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching

Three ways to watch your rugby team and make a difference this weekend by David Clarke

Do you want to make a real difference this weekend to your rugby team?

And that means during the game. Here are three ways to watch the game differently so you can pass on some key messages.

Actually I am inspired to write this because I have just been to a talk by Rhys Long, the Head of Performance Analysis for the Welsh Rugby Union. The Welsh are heading the way in terms of up-to-date game analysis and it provided a competitive edge during their successful 2008 Six Nations campaign.

You won’t have access to all their technology, but some of Rhys Long’s analytical processes can help inform you better.

1.    Gain line efficiency

A simple scoresheet will tell me how well we are doing at the gain line from each phase. Plus, zero or minus is enough to note down to tell me whether we have crossed the line. If we are not getting over the gain line much from first phase, then I will change the set piece moves. If we are bad at the second phase, then I will question whether players are following the patterns. I will then look again at third phase.

2.    Redundant rugby players

Forwards need to make a difference at the breakdown area. They must be “hitting” rucks, not resting on them. If they are not in the ruck, they should be actively involved in the defensive line or offering options to the decision making 9 and 10.

Not active? Then they are redundant. I will be sending on a sharp reminder.

3.    Tackle systems not tackles missed

If a rugby player attempts and misses a tackle, there is little you can do as a coach to change that. But you should be not be watching for missed tackles. If the line break was made due to a defensive system error, then you can correct that. Either remind players of the system or change the system.

In summary, I will just note “+”, “-“ or “0” for every attacking phase. I will check that all the forwards are making a difference. In defence, I will note whether any opposition line break is because we have failed to follow the system.

Then I can change the rugby tactics and make the difference.

Dan, Better Rugby Coaching Editor


2 Comments so far
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I love the new blog. As a college coach in the states I’m always looking for new resources to improve my coaching. I like how the blog offers up quick and simple ideas.

Comment by Brendan

An amazing try with a players involved.

Comment by dave taylor

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