As the attack goes the same way from a ruck, where should the first defenders line up? There are no hard and fast rules, so use this breakdown activity to help them make the right decisions. MORE
Key man: Second into the tackle
Work on the role of the second player at the tackle. He can either help make the tackle or attempt to go for the ball. It will depend on the relative strengths of the ball carrier, the first tackler and the angle that the second tackler arrives from.
Warm up time: 5
Session time: 6-9
Development time: 6-9
Game time: 15-20
Warm down time: 7
What to think about
The second tackler has plenty of decisions to make. If he arrives in time, he can help make the tackle. Normally he will go higher than the other tackler.
He has to be aware of his rights to the ball. If the ball carrier goes to ground, he has to make sure he does not have his hands on the ball. Once this is done, he can then go for the ball, as long as he does so coming from behind the tackle.
- Second tackler: Help take the ball carrier to ground.
- Stay on feet, release the ball carrier and then go for the ball.
What you get your players to do
Set up a feeder, attacker and defenders as in the top picture. The attacker goes through the cones in front of him before trying to beat the tackler in front of him.
Once the ball is passed, release one of the two defenders at any stage to assist in the tackle. Be vigilant on making sure the second tackler competes for the ball within the laws.
If necessary, walk through the activity a number of times.
In the wider box, set up a feeder, three attackers and four defenders as in the middle picture. The defenders aim to put two players into the tackle to win the ball.
Play full contact, with attackers trying to score over the line.
Defenders aim to prevent offloads, steal the ball or stop the attack winning a clean ball at the ruck.
Play five attackers against seven defenders. The attackers play until they are turned over or make an infringement.
What to call out
- “Drive the ball carrier first to help unbalance him”
- “Target the ball to prevent the offload but release the ball once the ball carrier goes to ground”
- “Get low over the ball, go for it if there are no attackers close by”