Get your players working hard on their footwork and in unison so they can come forward fast from the defensive line to cut down attacking plays from rucks. If defenders can adjust their feet quickly while still focusing on the attack, they can sprint off the line together, rather than become disorganised. MORE
Get back in the game
Effective defence wins games. You need to have as many players defending for as much of the time as you can. Players who like a rest after making a tackle, or like to lean on a ruck that is already lost are not helping your defensive cause. “Get back in the game” should become the mantra for your players after every tackle.
Warm up time: 7-10
Session time: 8-12
Development time: 10-15
Game time: 15-20
Warm down time: 7-10
What to think about
A player lying on the ground is out of the game. He is useless to himself and his team. This is especially important in defence as the more active defenders you have the harder it is for the attack.
To achieve this, you need your players to understand the importance of getting back into the game quickly. It is about creating a culture in training where your players are not satisfied with their tackle until they are back on their feet and looking for their next role.
If you have this mindset in all the training you do, it will translate into matches.
- Make aggressive tackles.
- Land on top of the tackled player.
- Get back to your feet explosively.
- Compete for the ball on the ground or get realigned to make the next tackle.
What you get your players to do
Split your players into pairs and run a series of reaction and speed games. Two players lie on their stomachs 2 metres apart, facing each other. On your whistle, they have to get to their feet and compete for a ball placed between them. You can then vary their starting positions.
To develop the explosive power, have one player lie across the back of another. On your whistle, the working player (the player underneath) has to get up as quickly as possible before competing for the ball.
A pair of tacklers work in a square against six ball carriers. The tacklers have to make as many tackles as they can in one minute. A tackle scores one point only if the tackler gets back to his feet before the tackled player. Challenge the pairs to beat each others scores.
Split into six attackers and four defenders. Play normal rugby rules, except that once a tackle is made the attacking team has to commit one player to the ruck and have a scrum half to pass.
The defenders cannot compete for the ball, but instead have to get back to their feet and realigned to make the next tackle.
The challenge is to see how many tackles the defenders can make before they concede a try.
What to call out
- “Push up hard with your arms”
- “Whip your feet up underneath you”
- “Get back in the game quickly”