Rugby Coaching Blog | Professional Rugby Advice & Coaching


Day nine of August pre season training tips: scrum by David Clarke
August 9, 2010, 1:28 pm
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Skills, Rugby Training, top tips | Tags: , , ,


August 9

Scrum

Good set piece is the springboard for attack. Most teams will have more scrums than any other set piece.

Use the first session of pre season to work on body shapes (profiling). Use the following six points to check the forwards are in the best position.
1. Bend at hips
2. Bend at knees
3. Knees above hips on engagement
4. Shoulder blades back
5. Head in a neutral position through out engagement process
6. On the balls of the feet, with toes gripping the ground through the boots

Better Rugby Coaching

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New style refereeing for a fairer contest? by David Clarke
March 31, 2010, 9:44 am
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby Refereeing | Tags: , , , , , ,

Writing in this month’s International Rugby Coaching, Paddy O’Brien, the IRB referee supremo, believes that rugby will be back to its old ways of a fairer contest.

He identifies five areas where he has got his referees to work harder at applying the law:
1. The maul at the lineout: no blocking.
2. Offside at the ruck.
3. Rolling away from the tackled played and/or releasing him to play the ball.
4. Better scrum engagement.
5. Keeping onside from the kicks.

Early evidence suggests that there is more space for attacking teams, but they are still adapting to the new regimes. Referees too are making a slight transition. The laws are not new, just being more heavily emphasised.

As Paddy says, one metre or one second of extra space and time can make all the difference in the game of rugby.

Better Rugby Coaching



Watch out, ruck and scrum laws may be moving again! by David Clarke
January 25, 2010, 4:41 pm
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, Rugby News | Tags: , , , ,

News from the Super 14s and Tri Nations

Here is something from the New Zealand RFU on the latest rulings on the ruck:

SANZAR reviews rucks and scrums – attackers favoured

Both the rights of a tackled player and scrums will be subject to changed conditions in 2010, after meetings with SANZAR officials ensured that the focus on the ruck and the forward engagements will be policed to allow a cleaner game.

The new changes will ensure that the attacking side has the advantage at the tackle area. Essentially the tackler will no longer have carte blanche to steal the ball, and the ball carrier more rights to enable his support to recycle.

It has been agreed that often the tackler wins the penalty in a ruck situation, which is going against the premise of promoting attacking rugby.

At scrum time, poor techniques, questionable tactics and repeated resets have led to a huge increase in time spent on what has become in the eyes of many a vexed set piece.

The International Rugby Board has assessed that 12% of an 80 minute match is spent resetting scrums. This is close to 10 minutes.

Offenders, namely in the front rows, will now be under the direct jurisdiction of the respective countries scrum coaches.

Mike Cron (NZ), Pat Noriega (AUS) and Balie Swart (SA) will now oversee their respective countries franchises/teams.

SANZAR referee’s manager Lyndon Bray spoke to the Dominion Post about making rugby a more open game, and ensuring that more time is spent with ball in play.

“We’ve agreed philosophically to change what the tackler can and can’t do,” Bray said.

“He is doing too much. We’ve allowed, in the evolution of the game, to let him remain in contact with the ball and ball carrier after he leaves his feet and he stays on the ball and jumps up and rips it away.”

This has seen the game develop into a situation where teams are afraid to move the ball wide, for if the ball carrier is isolated, it inevitably leads to a turnover.

“It looks great in the one-on-one scenario, but it’s actually against the law. It creates in the game a repetitive scenario where the ball carrier ends up with no rights because he can’t do anything with the ball.”

“The tackler inevitability gets the penalty which philosophically goes against what we are trying to achieve. We’ve agreed the tackler must release everything when he goes to ground and not hold on as he gets to his feet.”

This will give tackled players more time to place the ball, and will ensure that players not making a clean release after the tackle and getting to their feet will be penalised. However the infringement for holding on will still stand, albeit a potential scavenger needs to follow a specific process.

The days of specialists such as Richie McCaw holding onto a tackler or ball and essentially using that as a counterweight to swing to their feet and attack possession may be over.

Last year referees and coaches met, and planted the idea that the game would benefit with different approaches to key areas.

Key amongst this was ensuring a defending team did not have more rights.

Secondary was ensuring that the scrum was a set piece platform, and not a time consuming minefield that could ultimately deter fans from watching the product.

“We came up collectively with the fact that we had to create a greater ownership for changes in behaviour and essentially that was around the technique used at the tackle and at scrum time,” Bray said.

“We agreed that if we carried on doing the workshops we had in the past and came up with decisions on the run that the onus always came back to the guy in the middle with the whistle. We decided that wasn’t going to cut the mustard for 2010. We said we had to listen to the criticism of where our game is at and we have to produce a cleaner and more attractive spectacle.”

“If our reason for existence is to have one of the best competitions in world rugby then we have to recreate time and space on the field and recreate the attack with confidence that we used to have in Super 14 … it means more control from the ball carrier and more control for the attacking team.”

Changes in the scrum will take a more direct tact.

Offending players will be scrutinised and approached. If they cannot remedy their approach, then they will essentially be publically exposed.

“If the Hurricanes scrum for example have poor technique or use a poor tactical technique in week one to disrupt the scrum we will be going in privately and saying you have a problem and we will use Mike Cron to deliver the message, which gives it teeth,” Bray said.

“We will expect a change of behaviour from them. If they don’t deal with it then we have the right and permission from teams to go public.”

This will also apply to referees.

In summary

THE RUCK

The ruck will favour the attacking team

The tackler’s rights will no longer be deemed as being unlimited.

A tackler must released the tackled player and ball and get to their feet before scavenging.

THE SCRUM

Offenders will be approached by the country’s scrum coach

Teams, players and referees will be made aware of the issue

Media will be made aware of the repeat offenders

Better Rugby Coaching



Why rugby union will never become rugby league by David Clarke
October 6, 2008, 9:08 am
Filed under: Dan Cottrell, ELVs, Rugby News | Tags: , , , , ,

A little piece of history was made on Saturday. The Bridgend Ravens beat Neath at the Gnoll for the first time since 1982. A Welsh Premiership match with bags of atmosphere, and a sizeable crowd for a wet and windy Saturday afternoon.

 

Bridgend are perhaps the least financially secure of a league with bridges the gap between the amateur and professional game in Wales. What makes their position even more precarious is news from the Super League. The Celtic Crusaders have won a franchise into Europe’s top level rugby league competition for 2009 and, for the first time, top class rugby league will be played on the fields of Wales.

 

Wait. Not the first time, because the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff has seen plenty of rugby league finals and one-offs. But now it will be regular games with all the razzmatazz and raw rugby that top league brings.

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Are you worried about the ELVs? The top coaches aren’t by David Clarke

There has been plenty of confusion and misinformation, plus a number of conspiracy theories about the ELVs. The world’s top coaches see the ELVs as here, an opportunity and are working how to deal with them.

 

Here is what the top coaches are saying at the moment.

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How to Survive the ELVs by David Clarke

They are here and whatever your opinion on them, you are going to have to play with them for the next year at least. There are 13 ELVs to consider and I have already passed on my first thoughts in this blog

     

Practically you need to work the ELVs into your training programme, so here are five ways you can approach this.

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