The 3 v 2 v 1 is a drill that can be used when learning individual elements of the game and then to keep practicing and making them better. The general idea is that you start with 3 defenders split into a 2 and a 1 with the 1 about 10 meters behind the other 2 and you also have 3 attackers hence 3 v 2 v 1.
The 3 attackers first of all attack against the 2 defenders which give them a number of options (more about those a little later) and then once they have beaten those defenders they have to re-adjust and then beat the single defender in a 2 v 1.
Set out an area around 10 meters wide by around 20 meters long, halfway down your area you want to place 2 cones either side of the drill, these are where [private] the first 2 defenders are going to start off from. Also place 1 cone on the furthest point of the drill in the middle of the other 2 cones; this is where your single defender will start from. 3 attackers start from the other end of the drill and first of all attack the 2 defenders who can move in as soon as the attackers set off, once they have beaten the 2 defenders the fullback can then move in and the attackers need to beat him and then score a try.
This video shows the basic drill in action.
Even in its most simplest form this drill is actually rather complex in what you are asking your players to do and what you are asking them to remember so don’t be surprised if it takes a few attempts and explanations to get them to run it without putting the ball down especially with the younger age groups or inexperienced players. So what can we pick out from the above animation that you are asking your players to do? Let’s take it step by step, all the basics are in there, Run, pass, catch but also have you noticed the Drag lines from the ball carriers?
You will see that the first ball carrier runs towards the middle of the drill narrowing the gap for the middle man and also pulling the first defender in towards the middle man however a quick step away from the defender by the attacker sees the defender have to drag to take care of the man with the ball which opens the gap up for the middle man and means that the second defender can’t get across in time and the attack have made a break. The second ball carrier also runs at the single defender before stepping and dragging the defender away from his support player giving him plenty of space to run onto the ball and also stopping the defender having the time to recover.
When coaching move around the drill to see it from all viewpoints, let the players have a few goes at running it then bring them in and explain any points that you may have picked up and then set them off again. Look for the ball carrier and support players communicating, lines of carry as well as lines of support and everyone pushing. Targets towards the ball, correct carry with elbows out and 6 O’clock pass.
ADVANCING THE DRILL
This next video shows an advancement on this same drill, making the defenders communicate who is going where before turning and defending, the coaching points are the same it just makes it even more game realistic.
As you can see with this example, the defenders start at the same point as the attackers and have to get back 10 yards which gives you the opportunity to practice another skill at the same time in terms of making sure that your defenders are looking over their shoulder and pointing at their man as they set themselves for the next tackle, as soon as they reach the cones the attack moves and so the defenders have to react quickly. One thing that I find running this drill is that we run out of players very quickly so have your lads jogging back before resting so they are as near as possible in constant motion as you can then look at what they are capable of doing under a fatigue situation. Can they still run the correct lines, communicate properly (When a player is tired this is always the first thing they stop doing) and do the defenders still look up when retreating?
OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO
Start the drill with the players on their fronts or backs
Have 6 players in a line and give each a number, coach calls out 3 numbers who must react and defend whilst the others organize their attack very quickly.
Make the drill 30 meters along so the 2 defenders are retreating 20 and introduce a 10 meter line, the defenders set off with the ball passing it down the line and must place it anywhere on the 10 meter line and then retreat, attack must pick the ball up and complete the drill. This advancement changes the drill a lot as they then have to think about which defender to drag, which support player is running into space and also to take the correct option (Decision Making)
Can you think of anything else to add? Maybe you have a comment or a question? Please post them and join in the community.