Tacklers need to feel confident that the right technique works. This is more difficult when they are practising with static targets. Part of the reason why a ball carrier goes to ground is that they are unbalanced, and so it's much easier to bring a moving player down to the ground. MORE
Tackle recovery – react immediately
Quick-thinking players can create turnovers or prevent turnovers immediately after the tackle. This simple exercise can be built up during the season and aids basic tackle and post-tackle skills.
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
This session shows players the benefits of completing a tackle by competing for the ball. With this in mind, it might encourage lesser tacklers to make more of an effort to make a tackle in the first place.
It also takes into account that many tackles are not regulation side-on or front-on but scramble tackles.
The low impact nature of the first part of the session allows players to get themselves mentally and physically ready for a more intense work later in the session.
- Tackler: Force the ball carrier to ground as quickly as possible. Then get to your feet to compete for the ball.
- Ball carrier: Fight to stay on your feet and then fight to place the ball back to your team mates.
What you get your players to do
Put a tackler and two ball carriers between two cones which are about 5m to 10m apart. Give each ball carrier a letter. Make the tackler hold on to the shorts or shirt of both carriers (see picture 1).
Shout out the letter of the ball carrier to be tackled. He walks, jogs or runs to the cone in front of him. The other ball carrier runs to his cone, puts the ball down and turns to run back to support his player. In the meantime, a tackle is made and the tackler aims to get up and challenge for the ball (see pictures 2 and 3).
Add another defender and have a defender stand in front of each attacker. When you call out the letter, that ball carrier tries to run to his cone and is tackled, while the other attacker and defender run to the other cone before returning to support.
Split into pairs A and B. Pair A start as attackers with B the defenders. One player from each pair goes into one of the 10m boxes to create a one-onone. Defenders stand in the middle of the box and attackers have 10 seconds to score a try on the other side of the box. If he is tackled, the defender has a chance to turn over the ball and score at the far end (the attacker cannot try to tackle him). This needs to be done within the 10 seconds allowed.
Run both boxes at the same time. Score a point for a try, two points for a turnover try, no points for any other outcome. Swap attackers and defenders.
What to call out
- “Squeeze the knees of the ball carrier to put him to ground”
- “Bounce up from the tackle and over the ball before you grab it”
- “Tackled player: Twist and turn before you present the ball”