Friday was the fourth day of on-field work for the 28 players that attended the RugbyTown Crossover Academy’s first camp and it was the best day yet.
While Friday only featured on practice, it was the sharpest, crispest practice of the six that the camp had consisted of thus far.
Friday’s practice featured everything the academy had been working on all week. It was rugby. The players were using space to their advantage. There were switches, under and overs lines, and there was pace. In what would take some club teams weeks to learn, the RugbyTown Crossover Academy picked it up in just four days of work.
After lighter sessions on Thursday, the contact returned on Friday and it was a sight to see. The intensity of these training sessions is on another level, and that even gets kicked up a notch when contact is involved.
With all of these players coming from a wrestling or football background, contact is one feature of this camp that they are familiar with. While a lot of work has gone into making sure they are using the proper techniques, there hasn’t been much else to work on in the contact department.
The game is still very fresh to all of these players, but you can already see them thinking less when they are playing. The lines that they take and their ball skills look better every time they take the field.
While Friday’s practice incorporated everything that they had learned throughout the week, I liked watching the work they did in the ruck and the full-contact three-on-two drills that were sandwiched into the middle of practice.
I feel like tackle contests are something that takes a while for new players to understand, but yesterday’s practice showed how quickly these players are picking everything up. In what was probably the most intense portion of practice, nothing was out of control. They has a clear idea of what they were trying to accomplish, and they did so with physicality.
The last session of the week will take place on Saturday morning, and I would assume it will be a lot like Friday’s practice. While the camp was originally supposed to be a scrimmage – something that everyone involved in the program was greatly looking forward to – the rapidly changing COVID restrictions changed those plans. But the skills, competitiveness, and willingness to learn that all the players have demonstrated throughout the week has been enough that Glendale’s rugby department doesn’t need a scrimmage to see the caliber of athletes that they’re working with.
It’s only the beginning of something big.