Thursday, 3 March 2011

Passing In Rugby

The standard of passing in the Six Nations so far this season has been rather variable, from excellent to the frankly ridiculous. Sometimes the guy with the ball is so desperate to keep the ball alive, either to stop it going out of play and conceding a line out, or because having beaten two or three people he’s got carried away, that a totally inappropriate pass is given, which the receiver has no chance of catching, and may even be picked off by the opposition.
Sometimes, however, a perfectly acceptable pass is made, and then dropped. If it’s a forward who’s dropped the ball, there tends to be a collective “If only that had gone to a back” reaction. But how much time is spent on improving the handling skills of forwards?
The process of catching the ball starts long before the hands try to make contact with the ball. The fly half could probably recognise the type of pass (e.g. spin, pop pass or loop pass) from the scrum half well before the ball is actually released. But a forward is less likely to be less able to do this.
So one could start by getting the scrum half to demonstrate some different passes to the forwards who would be told to watch how the scrum half shapes to pass the ball, to watch the ball into the hands, and to pay particular attention to the feel of the ball in the hands when it’s caught. This is then repeated while taking the ball on the run. Some deliberately poor passes – too high or low – can be added as passes won’t always be perfect in a match.
The final stage would be to convert this drill into a more realistic match practice. For instance, three forwards have to score a try past two defenders. The move begins when the scrum half makes one of the previously demonstrated passes to one of the forwards of his choice as they’re running forward. The three then have to use passing and movement to ensure their numerical supremacy counts.

David Donner

No comments:

Post a Comment