In This Section:

Principles of Attack

The Game of rugby is governed by Principles and the key to being an effective rugby coach is understanding these principles and how to apply them with your players. Take the principle of GO Forward for instance all coaches try to get their teams to go forward whether in attack or defence. A coach must be able to analise his team and see how effective they are at going forward and then relate this to the Players on the Ball and the Players in the Space,  and finally to the individual skills of the players. An example of this could be everytime a team atttacks laterally they don't go forward. The coach now must look at the group (Players in the Space) and workshop this group, is it their Alignment, Timing etc., or is it the individual skills of the players, Running and Decision Making, Passing and Receiving. By starting with the collective and showing the outcome of the lateral attack then breaking down the general principle of GO Forward and linking it back to the individual skills of the players a coach can improve the understanding and knowledge  of the team in this area.

The Training Session would start with a collective (group) conditioned game 10 v 7 for example to create plenty of lateral attack options and the coach can then break it down to 8 v 5 if required to workshop the Players in the Space, it then may need to be reduced down to 4 v 2, 3 v2 or 2v 1 small sided games depending on the players capacities and understanding and finaly the direction it might take is a passing and receiving reduced activtity to improve the individual skill of the players as it may be the reason why the lateral attack is not going forward. Throughout this process the coach can use effective questioning to gauge the understanding   and listen to the feedback from the players. The team then needs to return to the collective activity to gauge the leval of improvement. In this way a coach can, in cooperation with the players improve the collective effectiveness of the team.

The Principles of Attack in Mini Rugby are:                               


                              Gain Possession

A team gains possession through Kickoffs, Dropouts, (Mini 3 only) Scrums and Lineouts and is called 1st phase possession. The above units are introduced at Mini 2 and contested at Mini 3 only.These units can help a team launch phase play which kickstart the following principles;

Go Forward

To gain tactical or territorial advange a team needs to go forward and this can be done through Running, Passing or Kicking (Mini 3 only).

Support for Teammates

To maintain the go forward ball support players need to provide the support for the ball carrier or kick chase otherwise this could result in a turnover of possession.


Maintain Continuity

Continuity is maintained by the ball carrier and support players through their continuity in contact skills.


Principles for Mini Rugby by stages:


Leprechaun (Under 7)                     Go Forward - Support


Mini1- Mini 2 (Under 10)                    GO FORWARD - SUPPORT - Continuity



Mini 3 (Under 12)               Gain Possession - GO FORWARD - SUPPORT - Continuity



Watch the Principles of Attack

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