2.3 Team Attack

The obvious aim of attack is to score. There are a number of ways this can be achieved – by running through the opposition, by running around the opposition, by kicking over the opposition and regaining the ball.

There are no universal rules about how a successful attack should be conducted – each team must analyze their own strengths and weakness, as well as those of the opposition, before working out their attacking strategy. However, there are some key principles which most successful attacking strategies adhere to:

2.3.1. Run straight

The shortest route to the try-line is the most direct. By running straight you are maximizing your chances of gaining ground for your team. You are also making it harder for the opposition players defending you to slide across to your team-mates if you pass the ball. Most importantly, by running straight you are promoting good running lines for your team-mates in support and maintaining the space they have outside you.

2.3.2. Look for space

When surveying the defensive line, look at the space between the defenders. Where there is the most space is where you should be trying to direct your attack.

2.3.3. Support the person with the ball

Communicate to let them know where you are. Give them options.

2.3.4. Don’t pass the ball to a team-mate in a worse position than yourself

This kind of pass is known as a ‘hospital pass’. The reason why is because giving the ball to a team-mate in a worse position than yourself is often followed by you visiting your team-mate in hospital to apologize! If there is no-one in a better position than yourself than keep hold of the ball.

2.3.5. Try to keep the ball alive

If possible, try not to ‘die’ with the ball. If you can release a good pass to a team-mate in a better position than yourself then the attack can continue. That said, if you cannot get a good pass away or if there is no-one in a good position to receive a pass then the best thing to do is hold onto the ball.