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Developing “Game Sense“ in Rugby

Keith Wilkinson, current Master Learning Facilitator for Coach Education, former international player, coach and manager writes an excellent article further detailing how to Develop "Game Sense" in Rugby.

In the fifty years I have been involved in Rugby, the ability to “read” a game has always been prized, but often only as an afterthought.  These days, it may be called “Game Sense,” but it means the same: An ability to understand and make decisions in the heat and pressure of a Game.  

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Sealing OFF

André Watson, South Africa's refereeing boss, has spoken to referees and coaches about a slack application of the tackle law which forbids the action popularly known as 'sealing off'. He warned that referees who failed to stop sealing off risked being benched.


Sealing off occurs after a ball-carrier has been tackled and a support player or support players fall on to of the tackled player to ensure that their side can get the ball by preventing opponents from getting to it. This is against the principle of having a fair contest for the ball after a tackle.

This is contrary to Law 15 which requires arriving players to be on their feet to contest the ball.

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