Match-time tackling can be 1 v 1, but often it’s a team effort, especially for younger players. Use this simple activity to build confidence, communication and tackle technique. MORE
The two man tackle is a high risk-high reward tactic. When successful it can lead to a turnover behind the gain line. But when executed in the wrong situation it can split your defence wide open. “Double trouble” develops the technique needed and puts players in situations where they have to judge when to make two man tackles.
Warm up time: 7-10
Session time: 10-15
Development time: 10-15
Game time: 15-20
Warm down time: 7-10
What to think about
Players need to be given cues to look for when a double tackle is appropriate and when it’s not.
- The ball carrier is isolated and running away from his support players.
- On the wing, when the ball has been quickly moved wide and away from the forwards.
- Following a kick and chase.
- You have fewer defenders than attackers.
- The ball carrier is strong and looking for offload chances.
- There are support players either side of the ball.
- Defend with heads up and identify opportunities to make two man tackles.
- Be aggressive in the tackle and knock the ball carrier backwards.
- Get back to your feet quickly and target the ball on the ground.
What you get your players to do
Walk through the technique to start with. Have a ball carrier work against two defenders (as the middle picture). Gradually build up the pace as the players get used to the technique. Then, get four defenders to face four attackers in two straight lines (as the last picture).
Stand behind the defenders and signal the attackers to move left and right. They pass the ball along the line as they move. On your signal the attackers move forward. The ball carrier must be double tackled and the players either side of him must be tackled as well.
Drop one of the four attackers back behind the line. He becomes a “floating” attacker and can enter the line anywhere. The front three pass the ball around as before and on your signal move up as a line.
The ball carrier must be double tackled and the players either side must be tackled too. The defenders decide if the “floater” is a threat or not.
Play full contact rugby between two teams where the defending team has one more player. The attacking team tries to get through the defence and score.
The defenders cannot compete for the ball on the ground unless they have made a double tackle. The defenders have to identify situations where they think a double tackle is appropriate and they can turn over the ball.
What to call out
- “Talk constantly to tell everyone who you are tackling”
- “Drive your legs through the tackle”
- “Back to your feet quickly and think BALL”