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    #31
    I would agree on the squats (both front and back) as a means of building the sort of strength you'll need for scrummaging. Another surprisingly useful exercise is "wall-ball" - this is where you start with a medicine ball clutched between your hands in front of your chest, facing the wall but standing a foot or two out from it. You squat down (properly, i.e. thighs at or slightly below the horizontal) then spring out of the squat to throw the medicine ball like a two-handed basketball shot so that it bounces off the wall three or four feet above you, then catch-squat-repeat.

    A key difference between this and doing barbell squats is that the explosive nature of the movement will help to train your body to deliver the drive for the hit. It's the sort of thing that seems like a piece of piss at first, but once you've done 20-30 reps you'll find out how much stamina you really have. At your size & level of fitness I'd suggest starting off with a 9kg ball and working up from there.

    Also, doing "muscle-ups" on the gymnastics rings will help to build the arm & shoulder strength you'll need to control your opponents.
    Tis but a scratch.

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      #32
      Well, I just had my first LIVE scrummaging session on Thursday and it went much better than expected.

      I had a significant power advantage over my LH team mate (a young guy from Brooklyn) for two of the full sessions so I was able to crease and drive him pretty well into the reserve hooker. Was I boring in? Maybe. But I didn't slip my bind once.

      My dreams of earning BJ like wedge disappeared pretty quickly. I got smashed on the switchover with me packing down with the reserve hooker and my good buddy Martin taking me to the fu*king cleaners like I owed him money. He'd slip his head under my right shoulder (I was too bloody high each time) and pry me away from the hooker. I've a lot to work on.

      One thing that I'm really excelling in though is the maul. There's nothing like bulling in behind the lock and rocking the other pack back. I can get low and drive much easier then at scrum time. It's Munster rugby, and it's ****ing addictive.

      Working with the ball is much easier than expected. I can pass pretty well off my left with a nice spiral. My pass off my right is disgusting. Thankfully, I won't need to be flinging passes out too much.

      I'm targeting benching pretty soon for the 2nds to see how I go. Great work out tips too - I'm going to get stuck into them.

      Jesus Christ, I love rugby.
      To The Brave and the Faithful, Nothing is Unpublishable.

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        #33
        Work on setting your height and get your hooker to help. If he's not crouching low enough it is very hard for you to.

        I know it sound simplistic but at most amatuer levels, all things being equal, being lower(but straight) gives you a huge advantage.

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          #34
          Originally posted by nuke View Post
          Work on setting your height and get your hooker to help. If he's not crouching low enough it is very hard for you to.

          I know it sound simplistic but at most amatuer levels, all things being equal, being lower(but straight) gives you a huge advantage.
          That Mike Cron up-down drill, you reckon?
          Ceterum censeo INM irrumandum esse.

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            #35
            Originally posted by Thomond78 View Post
            That Mike Cron up-down drill, you reckon?
            every little helps, i rely on being short ;)

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              #36
              What a great thread and how did I miss it.

              Fair play to you Joe, going straight into the Front row takes balls.

              Here's some stuff that may be of help to you. I'm sure some of the other front row experts here have pointed out a lot of this already to you, but I find it a great help.

              Building the Scrum
              On the internet, you can be anything you want. It always amazes me why so many people choose to be stupid.

              Comment


                #37
                First Game

                So today I had my first ever proper organized game of rugby. Due to an injury/hangover crisis I got the call last minute to come and tog out for the 2nds but with a catch - I'd be filling in at 12 for the two stag night victims, Tony Seminario and Timothy Gerber, affectionately known as the Long Island Iced T's.

                I've mentioned earlier how bad my passing to the right is, so I was a little nervous that I'd start throwing some disgusting looking hospital passes to the poor unfortunates outside me. The coach reassured me that he wouldn't be asking me to pass any further than 5 feet in either direction and when I togged out for the warm up I saw why - the opposition's 10, 12 and 13 were built like dancers. Not male dancers either.

                It was going to be crash ball baby, all day long.

                They kicked off and after securing the ball, we were immediately going forward. I didn't know where to stand. I tried to stand roughly 12-15 away from the fly half and around 6 feet behind. The coach had specified before the game that we'd keep the ball with the forwards as much as possible, given how girlish and weak the other team looked. That proved to be the case, as the forwards made a lot progress close in. By the time the scrum half deigned to pass the ball outside (roughly between half way and the 22) I was so pumped up I knocked the ****ing thing on when it came to me. ****. Really frustrating.

                I got my next chance on the ball after the scrum, when they kicked the ball down field. I went to first receiver as I was told to by the 10 and got a lovely pop pass on the move from the ensuing ruck just before halfway. The pass stuck this time and I made a lovely barging run through the opposition 6 and 10 before being hit pretty hard by a second row and the 12 in tandem. I was taken to ground. I managed to push the ball back and we were off down the field. I was a little slow getting back up but managed to get into something resembling where I thought I should be.

                I managed another carry in this play when I got the ball three phases later just inside the 22 and brought the ball up to the 5 metre line right in front of the posts before being stopped, going through the 10 and 12 in the process. What a ****ing rush! We finally scored in the corner. Lovely stuff. Conversion went wide.

                After that try we (and I) kind of went to the dogs a little. I missed a tackle on their winger, who was more than decent (and probably a former wide receiver). The greasy little ****er just slipped right past me. Thankfully he got chopped in half by our chainsmoking full back before he could cause any damage. I was fuming with myself.

                For the rest of the 1st Half I tried to stay somewhere near the rucks and wait for a pop pass. I made a good bit of ground the first few times. One in particular was quite satisfying as I managed to bullock through the 9 and 10 before dropping a lovely offload for the 13. Eat it, SBW.

                I got pinged for blowing off my feet at a ruck and gave away a stupid penalty when we were in a decent position by blocking right in front of the ref. It would have been a certain try, even if I hadn't blocked. Stupid.

                We scored another try right before the end of the first half. The scrum half box kicked a nothing ball down field in between our 22 and the halfway but it took the mother and father of all awkward bounces and ended up galloping away from the on rushing fullback who's eyes seemed to scream "Why ball? Why?". He turned to gather it but I was on him. He picked it up and turned around. SMASH. I got him just right. Man and ball. I drove him back a metre or two. He held onto the ball for dear life while gasping "ffffffffuuuuuuuuuccccccckkkkkkkk!".

                I was joined by the 6 and 8. The ref blew for a penalty. The 10 game barging in, took a quick tap and was off deep into the 22. The opposition 11 brought him down. The 7 cleared out and the scrumhalf picked up the ball and darted between the scrambling tacklers and over the whitewash. 10-0. The FH missed the conversion to send up into the break with a handy lead.

                The coach was "rapt" with the performance (guess where he's from) but said that we really should have been further ahead than we were and that one more try would lead to a cricket score.

                The 2nd half got off to a bad start with the FH knocking the ball out on the full from the kick off. My sworn enemy at TH was handling their loosehead easily and we won a penalty against the head. That should be ME in there!

                Off the resulting line out the scrumhalf threw a nice pass to the 10, who threw a pass to me. I bounced their 8 and with only two men to beat I arced wide, committed the full back and... threw a forward pass to our winger. The ref blew it up. ****. It's a lonely bloody feeling, I'll tell you that.

                I made a few more decent carries and even managed to make 3 more tackles (one on that greasy winger too). My positioning was all off and I found myself drifting too near the 10 or too near the 13 on defense. On top of that, I was really starting to flag fitness wise. On a few occasions I noticed their 10 trying to send a few more wingers down at me off first phase ball that I just barely dealt with or had others cover for. I came off on 60 minutes blowing black smoke like a dodgy tractor.

                ****ing loved it though. I'm no 12 but I'm hoping to step into the front row in the next month or so.
                To The Brave and the Faithful, Nothing is Unpublishable.

                Comment


                  #38
                  Welcome to NY Rugby! Sounds like you've just turned into an addict (the wife's word of choice).

                  An old coach used to say there was nothing worse than playing unfit and nothing better than playing fully fit.
                  When you hit the off-season try using this programing: www.crossfitfootball.com I've tried a lot of different off-season stuff and this is probably the best designed for rugby. Don't let the name fool you, it has elements of the cult of crossfit, but is sport specific (really gridiron and rugby) - lots of powerlifting (Squats should be the basis of any decent program) which is a must for any front-rower (I'm a 2 by trade). I'd also caution you against too much lifting of weights during the season, especially legs as I've found it really has an effect on your game-day speed.

                  Don't worry too much about positioning in loose play, it will come, just listen to the veterans around you if they are at all decent they should talk to you both at training and in game. Assuming you're back in the forwards next time remember off your feet is out of play, and if you're out of play you are useless to your teammates.

                  Keep working it will all start to click soon enough!

                  Comment


                    #39
                    Good stuff Joe. Should you find yourself with the glorious 12 on your back again (best position on the park, you know), defensive alignment is fairly straightforward.

                    You just need to be flat as a defensive line, and slightly to the outside of your opposite number. You want to be showing him back into traffic whatever happens, and pushing him onto your inside shoulder. Also allows you to slide that much faster.

                    Wingers cutting in will always cause problems at lower levels, because a defence has to be reasonably well drilled to know instantly whose job it is to deal with them.

                    Most defensive success or failure in the backs, in my experience, comes at the first split second when you either commit to the notion that the guy is yours or you hesitate. Most of the time if you commit quickly enough you'll do enough to make a nuisance of yourself. Hesitate and you're generally cooked.
                    "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

                    "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


                    "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

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                      #40
                      Great thread. Probably my favourite on here. Wish I could give playing another go but its just too much commitment with the kids and work.
                      Well done Joe and your match reports are pretty good too!
                      The only difference between me and a madman is that I'm not mad.
                      - Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

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                        #41
                        Yeah this is a great thread - you are really capturing the experience well here Joe
                        "There are a lot of points that we’ve left behind and this is with a young group. That probably tells you what they’re capable of and that they’re a very good side.

                        Probably next year or the year after next they will take some stopping"

                        Anthony Foley, May 2016. Axel RIP

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                          #42
                          BTW, Joe, if you want more tips, the NZRU have fantastic on-line coaching resources in their Coaching Toolbox site. Costs NZD50/year, but well, well worth it for the content.

                          www.coachingtoolbox.co.nz
                          Ceterum censeo INM irrumandum esse.

                          Comment


                            #43
                            Absolutely murderous indoor session tonight. Injury means I might be in with a shot for our 4 (hopefully more) games on the bench at least.
                            To The Brave and the Faithful, Nothing is Unpublishable.

                            Comment


                              #44
                              Ouch, what did you tweak ?

                              Been out since Jan with a trapped nerve between a compressed C5 & C6 but back now in time for the cups in Leinster. Might be sensible to give up the J1 stuff now though with 40 coming up fast next month.

                              Comment


                                #45
                                Originally posted by nuke View Post
                                Ouch, what did you tweak ?

                                Been out since Jan with a trapped nerve between a compressed C5 & C6 but back now in time for the cups in Leinster. Might be sensible to give up the J1 stuff now though with 40 coming up fast next month.
                                I didn't tweak anything, the guy who'd be ahead of me did. Looks like he busted his shoulder up fairly badly during that practice match so I'm prepping for being bench at least for the upcoming 4 games and hopefully into the play offs.
                                To The Brave and the Faithful, Nothing is Unpublishable.

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