EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Easy defence

Use this session to build tackling confidence and technique with low impacts. Low impact tackling still requires good skills to bring the ball carrier to the ground. It then focuses on completing the tackle by making the tackler get back into the game.


Warm up time: 5-7
Session time: 8-10
Development time: 10-15
Game time: 10-15
Warm down time: 5-8


What to think about

Tackling a walking player does not give the tackler the right sense of momentum and often leads to poor outcomes in training. By holding back the ball carrier and then releasing him, it makes the tackle easier to time, meaning the player can concentrate on some of the other key factors, such as feet to be close, shoulder impact, head position and a good grip.

Set-up

  1. Target the shorts, get close with the feet, hard in with shoulder, grip with ring of steel and drive with the feet.
  2. Recover and challenge for the ball.

What you get your players to do

An attacker with a ball is held by the shorts by a defender. Put a tackler about 2m to the side of this pair.

Make the attacker drive forward while being held. When he is released by the defender, the other player makes a side-on tackle (see picture 1).

A ball carrier being held by a player. He runs forward and is then released. The other player makes a side on tackle.

A ball carrier being held by a player. He runs forward and is then released. The other player makes a side on tackle.


Development

Add another attacker about 3m behind the attacker who is being held. When the attacker with the ball is released by the defender, all the players are involved in trying to win the ball back.

Let play develop into a contest over the ball until there is a clear winner or an infringement. Swap attackers and defenders and repeat (see picture 2).

Develop by having another “attacker.” After the tackle, all the players contest for the tackle ball (make sure they come through the back feet of their own team – the gate).

Develop by having another “attacker.” After the tackle, all the players contest for the tackle ball (make sure they come through the back feet of their own team – the gate).


Game situation

Put three attackers in an 8m x 4m box inside a 15m x 10m box and three defenders on their try line. Ask the defenders to walk forward and at the same time, you release the attackers.

Play normal rugby, without kicking, until a try is scored, an infringement or the attack lose the ball. Award a point for a try and a point for the defence stealing the ball. Swap defence and attack after each attempt.

The three defenders start walking forward from their own try line. Release the attackers who aim to score at the far end. No kicking. A point for a try and a point for the defence stealing the ball. Swap defence and attack after each attempt.

The three defenders start walking forward from their own try line. Release the attackers who aim to score at the far end. No kicking. A point for a try and a point for the defence stealing the ball. Swap defence and attack after each attempt.


What to call out

  • “Eyes open and on the target”
  • “Push your head behind and then into the ball carrier”
  • “The tackler can get up and come in from any angle, everyone else has to enter from the back feet”
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