Re starts are such a fascinating subject area when we consider applying attacking principles for the receiving team.
At club rugby level, it is fair to say that many kick offs and re starts aren’t ideal for the chasing team, and provide advantage to the receivers.
In the case below, you will see one such scenario. The receiving team catch the ball in good field position and with nice ‘attack’ on the footy.
In other words the attitude is right for positive phase play.
In fact, this is where your counter attack framework must be deployed to gain maximum effect or result.
In the short video below, I ask you to observe the following:
Did the ball carrier make the advantage line before going into contact?
Was the ball recycled fast from the ruck? How was the speed of service from the scrum half?
Was the scrum half pass a threat to the defence? Why/Why not?
Was the fly half positioned well enough to maintain momentum and make himself a threat?
Did the counter attacking team lose ground on the play?
Did the defence ever look stressed?
Was this a counter attack opportunity missed?
Far too many teams wander the pitch aimlessly, or are unable to sustain periods of positivity and support. The ruck in the above example should have been the springboard to continue the attack.
Some handy work from receiving a re start (including footwork at the line!) ended up 20 metres backwards with a knock on.
Coaches need to encourage a framework that sees an attacking team probe the defence for opportunities. Having a little more ‘action’ off the ball asks questions of the defence and wasn’t evident here.
If we drift too laterally or pass wide and deep to this style of defence we surrender any advantage we had.
It certainly won’t help when your 10 is not square on the pass! (everyone knew what he was doing next). Anyhow, that’s more an individual skill element for another time.
Play direct and punch the holes or half holes. Often the maintenance of front foot ball from the ruck will be enough to find a defensive breach or even a penalty.
We just need to get everyone on the same page and MOVE FORWARD!
You can read more on Counter Attack Here: Attack The Obvious Space
By Stuart Lierich