For rugby teams to get maximum value from possession, they need to assess and exploit all available opportunities. Not many are handed on a plate, so generally appear as half chances.
I am a big advocate for aggressive attacking patterns, those structures that make fast decisions, execute well and involve all players on and off the ball.
An often passive aspect of rugby (attack) is receiving kick offs.
In the junior and club level game, many re starts are not delivered with enough height or hang to be truly contestable, providing welcome advantage to the receiving pod. Also when a kick off isn’t delivered to the ‘plan’ it’s difficult for chasers to track ball position.
Herein lies the opportunity for Attack!
The clip below from Qld Premier Grade Rugby (20secs), is one such example.
Watch and observe the following:
* The ball travel path? Which team has the advantage?
* How close are the approaching chasers? Do they look committed?
* Does anyone on the black team look interested? What if there was hard running & support?
* Play it out in your mind. Blue numbers are mostly left of pitch approaching the ball, with slow and broken shape. Imagine now you are the receiver attacking the space to the left with running support options. For sure you could establish great field position, and keep possession. Think of how far you you could move that ball before the first contact.
The game is tempo, remember…
Teams that kick off, as you know, are always heavily stacked to one side on the chase. When it is not more than a jog, receiving teams receive valuable time to assess and run to space out wide if they want to take it.
With better assessment by the ball carrier and a fair dinkum effort from team mates to work back to support, this SHOULD have been a counter attack opportunity to the left.
Instead… ah yep, as often happens, the ball is kicked back to the opposition for..Zzzzzzzz
By Stuart Lierich