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Rugby Union Centre tips? watch

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    Hi, I am an 18 year old who is 5' 8" and 68kg. I have recently joined a rugby union mens team, and am looking to establish myself at either inside or outside centre. Being fairly stocky, I can hold my own in the tackle and the contact situation, however I am concerned about attack, as it's apparent I am never going to win the strength contest against much larger opponents. I would appreciate any tips or hints on methods of improving my attacking game and breaking down defences without the need to take the ball into contact. I should also add I have played rugby union before, so am not a complete novice to the game. Many thanks!
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    You just have to become technically better than physical opponents. Practice your kicking & passing, work on moves such as switches, dummy passes etc.
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    Are there any summer rugby league teams near you where you can play league in the off season? It is great for developing one on one centre skills as you will get a lot of the ball, have a bit more space, and get the practice at stepping, swerving, drawing the man and offloading.

    Also if you go to uni its worth joining the league team at uni, it will improve your core skills as an outside back in union.
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    No I don't think there is unfortunately :/. I always got the impression league was quite a physical game though? Seems like there is more emphasis on taking the ball into contact?
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    First of all, if you wish to play in the centres in union you have to be prepared to take the ball into contact and also muck in and help the forwards out in the rucks and mauls at the edges of the pitch. If you're not prepared for that go and play touch rugby.

    At 5'8 and 68kg you would be coming up against centres much bigger than you, not to say you shouldn't give it a go, but a different position may suit you better (e.g scrum half, although quite technical).

    Traditionally inside centres are pretty much a hard running battering ram and tackling machine with good hands whereas the outside is a nippy bloke with a good feet. Outside would probably suit you better and if you're lucky you will have a competent inside centre who can create space and put you through gaps.

    Just practice simple no frills stuff, work on a basic switches, miss passes, run-arounds etc. that most teams utilise and practice some two on ones situations to release the winger.

    Not much more I can say really, just got to get out there and give it a go. I would also second MagicNMedicine's recommendation of RL. Not only will your skills improve (a simple offload or flick pass commonplace in League is seen as the height of handling skill in Union) but your fitness will dramatically improve. Be prepared to be absolutely shagged after your first game if you give it a go though! Hope this helps
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    (Original post by teeps34)
    No I don't think there is unfortunately :/. I always got the impression league was quite a physical game though? Seems like there is more emphasis on taking the ball into contact?
    Yes league is a physical game but then so is union. The best description I heard to sum them up is that if rugby union is a 'contact' sport rugby league is a 'collision' sport. In union there is a lot of contact with multiple bodies and you will find yourself at the bottom of a pile of angry men pushing over you, in league you won't have that, the most you will usually get is two men in a tackle. The difference is in league all the contact comes at speed, you and your opponent are running at each other at full speed, so it's more collisions.

    Also as rhaco says it is MUCH more demanding on the stamina, because of the demands in defence, having to keep getting back onside 10m every tackle is a shock to the system, its like being made to do shuttle runs in the middle of a union game.

    But on the other hand, it is more enjoyable with ball in hand as when you receive a pass you have usually got a bit of space in front of your opponent and have some time to make decisions, to try and beat your man, spread the ball to the men outside you, all too often in union when you get the ball you are straight away swamped with traffic so its more about going down in the right position and retaining possession. Also you don't have the restraint of fearing you will get caught isolated when you make a break and lose possession, in league if you make a break you just go with it.
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    (Original post by teeps34)
    Hi, I am an 18 year old who is 5' 8" and 68kg. I have recently joined a rugby union mens team, and am looking to establish myself at either inside or outside centre. Being fairly stocky, I can hold my own in the tackle and the contact situation, however I am concerned about attack, as it's apparent I am never going to win the strength contest against much larger opponents. I would appreciate any tips or hints on methods of improving my attacking game and breaking down defences without the need to take the ball into contact. I should also add I have played rugby union before, so am not a complete novice to the game. Many thanks!
    Hmm, you seem to be a little small for a centre, but here are some tips for breaking down defences.

    1. Seeing as you're probably more agile than your opposite man, your best weapon in attack should be your side-step, there are loads of variations but the main principle is to get the guy you're running at to second-guess himself, and that should open up some space/a hole for you to run into.

    2. Dummy passes; seeing as you're a centre, if you can get some dummy switch moves etc. going, you'll probably be able to open up some huge gaps in the defensive line at least a couple of times in a game.

    3. Running lines; when you receive the ball, make sure you're running onto the ball at pace, this sounds like basic advice, but just running onto thet ball at speed is sometimes enough to break the line. Also, make sure you run good angles as well; don't run at the man, run at the gaps & run at the inside shoulders.

    Example of a good running line by a centre: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkUXeNDJPDs
 
 
 
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