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CoacHclass Top Tips II

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Premiership Rugby Academy Camp, run in association with O2.

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Decision-making in attack

Decision-making in attack is just one of the many core rugby skills that will be coached at our Spring and Easter CoacHclasses, along with the understanding of when and why the skill would be utilised within the game of rugby.

The easiest way to outmanoeuvre the opposition is simply to create an overlap, or even a half-overlap, in the threequarter line to give the extra bit of space for the player on the wing.

It is skills such as this that have helped to make players such as Josh Lewsey, Joe Worsley and Mark Van Gisbergen such valuable assets to London Wasps and have helped to make the Gold 'n' Blacks one of this season's Heineken Cup Quarter-Finalists.

2 attackers against 1 defender

Vickery will lead out England on the occasion of his 50th cap

Coaching Points:

  • The ball carrier is confronted by just one defender with a support player in attack
  • The ball carrier's job is to commit the defender totally in to tackling him. The coaching phrase is to fix the opponent. To fix the defender, the ball carrier must run straight, even cutting back slightly, away from the support player. The ball carrier must run at the defender's inside shoulder to draw him away from the support player.
  • By running at the defender's inside shoulder, the ball carrier has created more time and space for the support player outside him. The ball carrier has guaranteed that the defender is committed to tackling him and is not able to drift across towards the support player.
  • By drawing the defender on to him, and by timing his pass properly, the ball carrier can release his support player so that he can exploit the overlap.
  • If the ball carrier had run towards his support player, the defender could have drifted across the field with him, so that when the ball was passed to the support player the defender could have accelerated on to tackle him and the overlap would have been wasted.
  • Three attackers against two defenders

    Worsley's outstanding form for Wasps wins him a starting berth on the blind side

    Coaching Points:

    • The ball carrier is on the attack and he fixes the first defender by running hard and straight at his inside shoulder. The defender is totally committed.
    • Similarly, the first support player changes his angle of running fractionally from a straight line to slightly back towards the source of the possession by aiming at the opponent's inside shoulder.
    • The first support player has committed the defender and released the second support player on the overlap. Note here that the first ball carrier, having passed, runs on in to the first defender's inside shoulder.
    • Similarly, the first support player runs on into the second defender's inside shoulder, showing that he had the defender totally committed to tackling him. As a result, the attackers have made full use of the three-against-one overlap and the second support player is free on the outside.

    At more advanced levels, there can be definite advantages in the centres taking the ball a little flatter and slightly wider. However, it should be noted that the flatter the threequarter align, the better the quality of possession they need, the slicker their handling needs to be, and the more important it is to run at the correct angles and to hold the depth of the backline. Speed is of the essence, and all the basics have to be done quickly and accurately as the flatter the alignment is, the narrower the margin for error. It requires great technique and countless hours of practice.

    Click here for our CoacHclass Top Tips on Popping The Ball Out Of The Tackle

    Click here to read CoacHclass Ambassador Tom Rees in the Spotlight

    You can book your place on our CoacHclass by using our on-line booking service.