Spacial awareness is a vitally important component of both league 13’s and Rugby League Nines. The benefit of 9’s is that there is just so much more space! With only nine players per team on the field during play, the space is obvious and waiting for you to capitalise on it.
Having more space available to you helps you attune your spatial awareness which can help you to become more adept at finding the space on the busier 13-a-side field.
Speed is everything in rugby league nines. Everything! Not only are games shorter meaning you have less time to wrack up points on the scoreboard, there is so much more space to play in. What’s more with less players on the field you have all got to cover more ground.
Speed is essential and by increasing your speed endurance through playing rugby nines you’ll find yourself a cut above the rest when you step back into playing 13-a-side.
Whether you play rugby league or rugby union, rugby is a game of power. Explosive tackles and explosive line breaks are important in equal measure.
You’ve got to have muscle power in abundance to play rugby league nines, where there are no missed tackles allowed and you have to break through those tackles to smash the gain line.
Unlike the full 13-a-side game, rugby nines games are played for just 18-minutes. Playing for just 18-minutes as opposed to 80 minutes means that you have to stay on right from the kick off.
This is a real test for your cardiovascular endurance. If you can keep the tempo up throughout the 18-minutes of play you will find that you feel all the fitter and faster when you return to play 13-a-side.
In terms of cardiovascular endurance, rugby nines is brutal. You are working in your aerobic zone almost entirely and there are only precious seconds of respite. Do you have what it takes?
With just nine players on the field each of you will get your hands on the ball so much more during a 13-a-side game where its not uncommon for a forward (especially) to only get ball contact a couple of times in the game.
The whole team has to ensure that their handling is on point – there is no room for handling errors in nines where possession is even more important.
Short little pop passes and great looping long spin passes all need to be on form. You better get your handling drills handbook out teams! Nothing but practice can improve these essential skills.
There is no doubt about it, playing rugby league nines has nothing but a positive impact on your 13-a-side game. From improved handling to sustained speed and power, if you are looking to up your game, the Fijian Cup Nines is the perfect place for you.