Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching


Winning a game you should have won by David Clarke

On Wednesday night, the Young Osprey Under 16 team (the team I help coach) beat the best of the rest (the players who did not make the squad) 42-13.

The pattern of the game did not surprise me or the other coaches, and we were 8-6 down at half time. This was in part due to excellent spirit, endeavour and organisation of the opposition. The second half was a different story to the first, and the fitness, strength and speed of the senior boys was too much to handle.

The key reasons why we didn’t win the first half though were:

1. Not executing the basics well – dropped passes and slow movement into set plays.

2. Getting undermined at the the set piece.

3. Not playing the game plan.

A determined opposition can disrupt all these areas, but your team needs to rise above it. Now that can be a big ask for a fifteen year old boy. That’s why you, as a coach, earn your stripes. Your influence can calm the situation, focus the players and maintain the equilibrium.

The half time team talk did just that. Actually it was a two tone talk, with the forwards receiving a little more of the “guts” talk and the backs on the execution and game plan. The second half speaks for itself.

And here is another game which happened the night before. Munster v All Blacks…similiar circumstances?

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