Richie in full action, with our new scrum machine
Richie in full action, with our new scrum machine

1/ We got a new scrum machine, home made by our active member Julius. What’s the added value for having such tool to train ?

Most important value is SAFETY.
Scrummaging for all players new and experienced can be unsafe if incorrect body position and technique are used.
Scrum machine allows correction of technique in safe environment.
Machine lacks dynamic movement but it’s stability allows players to practice without twisting & transitional forces against scrummaging players.
Once good technique is achieved, strength training can be achieved by moving scrummaging machine along.

Next important attribute is TIMING.
All Black forwards for are not biggest or heaviest pack.
More important attribute is transfer of force in one direction.
This is generally achieved by Timing and Unity of the pack.
Unity is created by the “bind” or tightness of grip of the players.
If you think about air as an analogy . In it’s gaseous state, air can be barely felt (like a light breeze) . But compressed air can be be dangerous, molecules are pushed together under tremendous pressure. Now it can produce massive amount of force.
So players individually cannot produce same amount of force compared to group of players compressed together in scrum. Bind of players must be as strong as possible.
Timing is essential, smaller forward pack which applies force at SAME time will ALWAYS beat bigger scrummaging pack without timing.

To summarise, SAFETY, TECHNIQUE & TIMING is 3 main elements of scrum which scrummaging machine allows players to practice.

2/ We had couple of players willing to learn the line out, what was the main challenge? and how we have solved it?

Most important attribute is SAFETY of player jumping.

Player jumping MUST feel safe and confident in players who are lifting him.
Again good technique is required.

For a new player, it feels strange to be lifted into the air and held up to catch ball all at the same time.

Once player feels safe, this player to focus on catching the ball.

Training we only had Jan to be lifted, it was easy to see he felt confident with experienced lifters.

Repetition and training is only way to build confidence and muscle memory.

By the end of the training, boys had achieved a great lineout catch but also set strong maul, even with Big Max trying to disrupt maul.

3/ Specific drills, handling, tackling, what can bring the Rugby Klub Bratislava to the pure new players?

Good SAFE technique. We can coach progression.
I am able to teach basic techniques from when I was taught as child in New Zealand.
All through my school years, All Black players visited school teaching school children basic techniques.
I have been lucky enough to meet some of greatest players during school visits from Stu Wilson, David Kirk, Michael Jones to watching young kid Jonah Lomu.
Basics do not change at what level you play.
If you’re a new player who wants to play, be safe and have a great time you have come to the right club.

by Richie – RKB trainer, senior team