Coach Report: Tackling the new rules
Maintaining the Tower of Power
Great to see everyone back at training and to see some great rugby, once again in the sunshine. I would imagine that the kids and coaches will sleep pretty soundly tonight as we covered a lot of ground and they really put in a shift.
We finished the sessions with some game time where they had their first stab at playing with all of the new rules. We have obviously tried to build up gradually to this point and to make sure they understand the importance of support and body position when they are competing for the ball. The real buzz word for this season is “support” both in attack and defence. To ensure we secure the ball when we attack or win it back when we defend, we need guys in close proximity to the ball carrier, or tackler ready to ruck over. Then, once we are ready to ruck, we must do so in a strong position (Tower of Power) and work from low to high to ensure we have the best chance of winning the ball.
Obviously some have taken to this more easily than others but everyone got really stuck in and gave it a go which is the main thing.
As you will have seen, we started off with some touch rugby as I’m keen to reinforce the importance of passing and handling to find the space. We’re trying to make the kids understand that taking the tackle and go going to ground should be the last resort if other options (a pass or sensible offload) are unavailable. We saw some nice support play and towards the end the kids were communicating well.
We also did a quick fire tackling drill which they seemed to enjoy and we are seeing a marked improvement week on week with the tackling technique. I’m determined that everyone concentrates on getting their head on the right side and in the most part they are generally doing it. Those that aren’t, are only really guilty of doing it on one side and they know who they are! We’ll get there and will hopefully have the whole squad tackling safely and correctly before the first matches.
I saw that we had one or two knocks today and hope that everyone has recovered OK. It is a bit more physical now there is completion for the ball but most of the guys seemed to withstand the additional knocks pretty well.