What made me rethink tackle training
Inspired by a great tackling photo I saw on Twitter, I was intrigued to understand more about the player who made this play. MORE
EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES
A tackle is completed when the tackler has done everything he can legally to prevent the tackled player releasing the ball. Ultimately, the defender can do this by getting to their feet to challenge for the ball but even if they can’t challenge, they can prevent the attacker placing the ball back quickly.
Warm up time: 5-7
Session time: 8-10
Development time: 10-15
Game time: 10-15
Warm down time: 5-8
This session mixes up the angles the tackler comes from so they work hard to make the tackle and then readjust to finish the job by making the ball carrier gain as little advantage as possible when he places the ball.
The tackler is working on the edge of the laws here because they must get to their feet before they can play the ball and release the ball carrier once they have tackled him. But as long as they are still moving while in contact with their opponent, they are still tackling. You will know what looks right and this is key, because the referee’s perception of “release” will make them blow the whistle or not.
Set up a triangle of three cones around a ball carrier holding a ball between themselves and a tackle tube or a ruck pad. A defender starts opposite. You shout out which cone to go around and they must tackle the ball carrier to the ground and then get to their feet to retrieve the ball (see picture 1).
The ball carrier holds onto the ball and tube as they fall. They then try to present the ball as if their try line was behind them. The tube acts to make sure the ball carrier falls over properly and creates additional distractions.
A ball carrier jogs inside a 3m square (see picture 2). When you call a letter, the defender runs around that cone and puts the ball carrier on the ground.
When the tackle is made, call out another cone and the ball carrier has to place the ball towards that cone. The tackler aims to prevent this legally.
Four attackers with a ball each have to score a try within 10 seconds. Two defenders try to stop them. Start with attackers walking around their 15m by 6m box and defenders patrolling their own 1m area (see picture 3, fig 1).
When you shout “GO” defenders move into the attackers’ box. Attackers touch the ball down on the try line behind them before running towards the 1m area.
Defenders can decide to double team one player, or go for a player each. Once an attacker has scored a try, they can help out a team mate. There are lots of tactics both teams can use to draw out defenders or target attackers.