Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching

Playing the B team by David Clarke

Tomorrow night a team I coach will be playing the “best of the rest”. The “best of the rest” are the boys who did not make the Young Osprey U16 squad at the start of the season. They will now have a chance to prove a few points.

This game has many positives.

1. It will vindicate many or all of our selections.

2. It might bring to light a player we missed first time, either because they were not developed or they were just did not do enough when we were making the selection.

3. It gives us a chance to look at our wider squad with a couple of the “best” players rested.

Approaching the game is an interesting coaching exercise. Our game plan will not change from a normal game, but it is mentally a different thought process.

I look back on the times when my team was either playing down against a lower league team or playing up in a cup run.

It was quite a good position to be in when playing against a lower league opposition as a winger or fullback. It allowed me more space and time because often the opposition organisation was weaker, even if my opposite number was my equal. It was often the forwards who bore the brunt of the onslaught!

The key mental attributes were patience in attack and physicality in defence. Not bad approaches whatever your game plan. However against lower league teams, you need to back your fitness, organisational ability and all round skill.

It will be interesting to see what the outcome of the game is. I know my team is very excited, but not half as excited as the boys and their parents from the opposition.

It won’t be a stroll in the park. Dare I tell you the score on Thursday morning.


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