Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching


Realignment and committing drill by David Clarke

Here is a realignment drill which I found on YouTube. Simple to set up and easy to run. Note that the players are realigning and then committing defenders.

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What have you forgotten about TAG rugby? by David Clarke
September 27, 2010, 8:13 am
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Coaching, Rugby Training, TAG rugby | Tags: , ,

Tag rugby is an introductory game for young players and an exciting form of non-contact rugby for more experienced players.

In the mayhem and speed of the game, there are a number of pieces of the puzzle that can be forgotten.

Here are five areas you need to make sure you remember about TAG rugby.
1. Challenge the defence with every run, so they have to be moving backwards – this means no player should take the ball standing still on open play. Make this a rule in training.
2. In attack, if you are not running, you are not working. Support, realign, run dummy lines, take the ball up.
3. Deep support is crucial. That is a player who is behind the ball carrier and offers a quick get out pass which is not blocked by a defender.
4. In defence, go back to come forward. Defenders are constantly on the move. Running back into line and then forward together.
5. Anticpate the TAG or touch, don’t wait for it to happen. The ball carrier can pass because he wants to, not because he is forced to.

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Day twelve of August pre season training tips: speed of thought by David Clarke

August 12

Speed of thought

Sharpen your players’ minds as well as their bodies in pre season. Put them into situations where they have to make tactical decisions quickly and decisively.

Here are five ways to increase your team’s speed of thought.
1. Every exercise has at least one decision during the exercise or in its development:
a. A passing exercise requires at one pass to be either short or long, or beat a defender.
b. A tackling exercise requires a player to challenge for the ball, or decide what height to go in at, or who to cover.
c. A support exercise requires the support player to be ready to take an offload or clear away threats from the tackled player.
2. Reduce the time in which an exercise has to be completed. Say five passes and shuttles should be finished in 20 seconds, not 30.
3. Make an exercise a competition. How quickly can this be completed, or how many can be done in a certain time. Ensure that good technique triumphs over poor.
4. Play a game of high intensity touch rugby for three minutes straight after a gruelling fitness section.
5. Reduce the size of the exercise area OR make it much, much larger.

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Preseason handling drills by David Clarke


Though these drills/exercises can be done at any time of the season, this set of exercises are ideal as part of the skill development phase of your preseason training.

Taken from the Crusader R80 series.

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The grip, the catch and the old rugby ball by David Clarke
September 8, 2009, 8:39 am
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Coaching, Rugby Skills | Tags: , , ,

gripping

The modern rugby ball is sticky. It has some sort of magical quality that makes it hard to drop when being carried in one hand.

That makes exercises like a simple one handed ball wrestling easy to perform. It is exercise. It is an excellent activity because players have to manipulate the ball, shaping their hands and there is an element of competition. Both players put one hand on the ball and then the one “pull” it from the other’s grasp is the winner.

Try it will an old ball and it is a different exercise altogether. I had a go with a size three and found it very difficult.

It reminded me that I need to train my players with old balls to make them work harder at catching.

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South Africa produce the best passers by David Clarke

The best passers of the ball in world rugby are South Africa, according to Lynn Evans. The former Oxford University coach and well respected coach educator around the world, says that he thinks the World Cup winners have the best skills.

“They are extremely well drilled and rarely do you see a dropped ball,” he says, speaking in August’s International Rugby Technical Journal.

This example of great handing shows backs and forwards shift the ball quickly across the field before Bobby Skinstad performs a wonderful one handed pass to the openside flanker to race in to score.

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Will this be the way the Lions win in 2009? by David Clarke

Here are some of the key points drawn from the statistical analysis of the 2009 Six Nations tournament. It will be interesting to see if the Lions follow the success of the Irish team and adopt their tactics.

The full text is available at this link.

From the report by Corris Thomas, IRB:

This year, IRELAND won the Grand Slam for the first time in over 60 years and they achieved it by bringing a distinctive approach to this year’s championship.

Gone was the high passing team, low kicking team that characterised Ireland’s play in recent years and in came a far more controlled pattern of play that exerted constant pressure on the opposition. The following extracts from the following report illustrates the extent of this approach:

¨ Far from being the highest passing team as in the recent past, Ireland were the lowest both in number of passes and rate of passing
¨ In one match they made just 82 passes
¨ Very few Irish passing movements contained more than 3 passes. Only 1 passing movement in every 38 contained 3 or more passes, this compared to 1 in 15 for the other 5 teams.

The Irish effort was far more concentrated on tight play as the following illustrations show:

¨ They were among the highest rucking team and kicking team with the most successful ruck retention rate
¨ They were turned over only 7 times in almost 500 rucks and mauls, a ratio far better than any other team
¨ In a tournament of few mauls, Ireland mauled far more than any other team
¨ Of 7 maul turnovers, 6 were achieved by Ireland
¨ They conceded only 3 tries none of which started inside their own half
¨ Their forwards were the least likely to pass the ball – and often significantly less likely. Their back row, for example, passed the ball on only 13% of occasions while the back rows of the other 5 teams passed on no less than 35% of occasions.
¨ They kicked almost all restarts short thereby maintaining constant physical pressure on their opponents
¨ They were the most successful team in gaining possession on opposition lineouts and 75% of their tries came from lineout possession

This approach was complemented by other major factors
¨ 11 of their 12 tries were converted, making tries worth an invaluable 7 points
¨ They were the least penalised team
¨ They obtained more possession than their opponents in 4 of their 5 matches.

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