Here’s how you can create a better awareness of drift defence, even if you don’t have a large number of players available at training. MORE
Build a defence ethic by defending in threes and fours. Players will have to cover narrow and wide spaces, improving their tackling and communication.
Warm up time: 5-7
Session time: 8-10
Development time: 8-10
Game time: 15-20
Warm down time: 5-7
The defence has to deal with different threats under pressure. This can affect players’ concentration when getting into the line. Get your players to make as much noise as possible to convince themselves, you and the opposition that they are ready to defend aggressively as a unit.
Set up your players as in picture 1 with one player and ball next to a wide gate of cones and another next to a narrow gate of cones. The distances between the cones should reflect the age and ability of the player.
Shout which set of cones the defenders have to run to – “NARROW” or “WIDE”. The defenders run and set up to cover this gate. When the player by that gate bends down to touch the ball – simulating a 9 retrieving the ball from a ruck or scrum – the defenders move forward to tackle the ruck pad holders, leaving the last defender free. Defenders return to the middle to repeat the exercise.
Set up a 6v4 as in picture 2 with coloured cones (green or blue) to indicate a narrow or wide area to cover. Shout out which colour the attackers must get past while the defence starts from the red gate. Start with touch tackling to check the line is working. Then move on to full contact.
Play 8v4. Start at the side of the pitch and say whether the next attack is wide or narrow (see picture 3). To start, the ball must be passed off the ground and the defence has to be at least 2m from it. Play full contact rugby and stop if a ruck or maul forms.
“Stay onside and call out what player you are tackling”
“Look ahead and still know who is next to you”
“Move up together”