The source of endless debate, controversy and acclaim alike, developing the right tactics can make or break a team’s performance. Far from an easy proposition, but get it right, and you’re the world’s greatest rugby visionary – to your players, at least.
Developing tactics requires a thorough understanding of your team’s strengths. These tactics will be in part forward dominated and power based, and also reliant on the creation of space and use of pace. As important, is an awareness of the team and individuals you’re up against – and the tactics they are likely to employ.
Using the physical strength of the forwards, in scrums and rolling mauls, can result in significant territory gain. Forward players can ‘pick and drive’ (gather the ball and take it forward with the support of team-mates) until the moment is right to release it to the backs.
For all its many complexities, rugby remains a simple game in essence. Points will be scored when a player is put into space and when an attacking team out-numbers those in defence. As such, rugby’s holy grail lies in the creation of space. There are many tactics geared towards this, but primarily it’s about winning quick ball to move the passage of play away from a concentration of players while injecting pace and creativity in attack to make space for a player to score.