Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching


Cipriani is a long legged fly half by David Clarke
November 24, 2008, 2:53 pm
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Coaching | Tags: , ,

High profile players inevitably draw the most attention. Danny Cipriani, the England fly half, is certainly one. He has had three charged down kicks leading to tries in his six internationals.

Longer legs than Johnny!

Not a great strike rate. But his problem is common to fly halves who are long legged. He needs to adjust his kicking style to accommodate the longer levers when clearing the ball.

In normal circumstances, he will receive the ball in time to strike it with no pressure. However when he receives a poor pass with a defender bearing down on him, he should consider the following:

1. Half a stride steps to kick rather than normal steps.

2. Kick at an angle and not straight downfield.

3. Drop the ball from a lower height.

4. Run sideways to step into the kick and not run upfield.

And use my kicking practice from the Coaching Rugby manual, a video of which is out on Friday!



IRB referee’s supremo talks about the impact of the ELVs by David Clarke

Paddy O’Brien is interviewed on the IRB’s Total Rugby programme today.

Here are some of his answers taken from the IRB website.

For two and a half months the global game has been played under the Experimental Law Variations. The Southern hemisphere was first to experience the ELVs and still include the laws governing sanctions, but what happens when those same players switch to the Northern-style ELVs for the November tests?

Is there a problem on the horizon, or are these issues merely a storm in a tea cup? Questions Total Rugby Radio put to IRB referee manager Paddy O’Brien.

Total Rugby: Looking at some the founding principles behind the ELVs, has the game been ‘given back to the players’?

Paddy O’Brien:”The players would certainly say that it has. On the statistics we’ve had back so far, on 80 to 90 percent of the ELVs the players say they strongly support them, so despite all the myths out there that people don’t like them, the people who play the game, who are at the end of the day the most important people, they’re telling us yes they love them.”

TR: What about making the game more entertaining – there’s a lot of kicking in the North at the moment..

P O’B: “I think there’s a bit of a myth out there that one of our objectives was to make the game more entertaining, which was not the case. That’s up to the players. As for the kicking, the stats show that kicking is no more than it was at Rugby World Cup 2007, in fact it’s down. There’s an average of 51 or 52 kicks in a game and if you go back to the semi finals and final of the World Cup there were 87 kicks per game, so there is a lot of misinformation out there.

“Sure, there is a lot of kicking and that is down to other reasons. Until the referees really get harsh at refereeing people on their feet at the tackle players will not commit to the breakdown and the only way to break defences is by kicking the ball. The fact that there’s a lot of kicking in games at the moment shouldn’t be put down to the ELVs.”

TR: We’ve currently got different Laws being used in the South and the North. Could this not be a problem with IRB World Ranking points and Rugby World Cup seedings potentially at stake?

P O’B: “People get a bit emotional over it but the only difference between the two hemispheres at the moment – and a reminder the NPC and Currie Cup are being played under the 16 ELVs whereas up north it’s 13 – is that instead of being a penalty it’s a free kick as a sanction. That’s the only area.

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Ancient “catching the high ball” film by David Clarke

Having produced one DVD and just about to launch another, I was fascinated to come across this clip.

Lots of good coaching points here. I am going to match it up to my Ospreys catching skills template to see how close it is.

From what I can tell it was produced as an instructional rugby video by Oxford University.



ELVs – the never ending experiment by David Clarke

Rugby coaches around the world are pouring over their tactics and working out whether the new laws have made a significant difference to the game.

In the Northern Hemisphere, two complaints have made most of the headlines: more kicking and inconsistency at the breakdown.

Just a moment…

Inconsistency at the breakdown? That is not talking about an ELV. It is a directive from the IRB for referees to stop “bridging and sealing”. However referees are not controlling this area in the game in the same way. Recently criticism has been aimed at Jonathan Kaplan, the well-respected South African referee in the way he dealt the ruck area in two separate Tri Nations games. “A free for all” said one coach about the last game after he had been very harsh in the previous match. Continue reading