Keep your players balanced and stable in the contact situation by getting them to “bump, pop, rip”. The “bump” is a controlled drive into the contact area, so the ball carrier is never off balance. He can then pop the ball to a team mate or have it ripped away. The pop is more dynamic, the rip more secure.
Warm up time: 7-10 Session time: 7-10 Development time: 5-7 Game time: 10-15 Warm down time: 7-10
What to think about
The support players keep over running the ball carrier before he can pass to them.This is caused by them being worried that they will not make it in time. Reinforce that they are better arriving late at pace than being early and topping
before acting. If necessary hold them back physically to show how late they can set off.
The support player is struggling to rip the ball off the ball carrier.The support player needs to hit the ball carrier hard with his shoulder and get his elbow between the ball and the ball carrier. The rip is completed by dropping the shoulder and using all his upper body weight to rip down.
Prepare to take contact. Get low, hold the ball on the back hip and hit the defender with the leading shoulder.
Consider the best option to take after contact, either popping a short pass to the
supporting player or allowing him to rip the ball from you.
What you get your players to do
Split your players into groups of three and run through a channel with three defenders with ruck shields. The ball carrier power steps into contact knocking the defender back. He pops a pass to one of the support runners who takes the ball into the next defender.
Then get the ball carrier to bump the defender and turn in a strong position. The first support player hits with his shoulder and rips the ball out before passing to the third player.
The power step into contact bumps the defender back and gives the ball carrier the advantage.
Remove the ruck pads and use live defenders. The ball carrier has to see which option he can use best and the support players have to react to the situation.
The support player hits the ball carrier with his shoulder and rips the ball down.
Play six-a-side full contact rugby in a five metre wide channel. The attacking team get a point every time they bump, pop or rip. The defending team are allowed to compete for the ball legally and try to win possession. Each team gets one minute to attack and see how many points they can get.
If you have more than two teams, have one team resting and keeping score.
The two support players run from deep and aim at the ball carrier’s shoulder.
What to call out
“Accelerate into contact.”
“Take a big step into the tackle to stay strong and balanced.”
“Support players: talk to the ball carrier – let him know his best option.”
Sometimes I still have to pinch myself and realise we have missed 18 months of competitive contact rugby. And watching the attritional British and Irish Lions Tour recently got me thinking about how we as coaches can look to prepare our youth players for the new season.
I have put together some non-contact tips on how I would work to improve the tackle technique for my players. MORE