EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Torpedo drive for side-on tackles

An interception tackle is like firing a torpedo to intercept a ship. The player tracks across and towards the target. He keeps his momentum going, so when he makes impact the ball carrier is knocked sideways and cannot use an effective hand off.


Warm up time: 5
Session time: 5-8
Development time: 6-9
Game time: 15-20
Warm down time: 7


What to think about

In all sections of the session, ensure that the tackler uses two particular techniques:

  1. He keeps his head in a neutral position, i.e. not leaning in, during the tackle and that the head goes behind the target.
  2. If possible, his feet do not leave the ground until impact is made with the ball carrier.

The target is just below hip height and, in particular, the fleshy part of the thighs. If the ball carrier is wearing shorts in training, then just above the bottom of the shorts is a good target spot.

Set-up

  1. Aim at the shorts. Eyes open, head and neck in a neutral position.
  2. Drive into the target, wrap the arms around your opponent and hold on while pumping your legs.

What you get your players to do

Set up as in the top picture.

The attacker drags a tackle tube, while the tackler runs around a cone and then cuts across to make a side-on tackle. As the tackle is made, the tube must be released.

Check for good technique. Swap the direction of the tackler, so the impact is made with the other shoulder.

The attacker (the white player) drags the tube up the field. The tackler runs around the cone to make a side-on tackle. Release the tube on impact.

The attacker (the white player) drags the tube up the field. The tackler runs around the cone to make a side-on tackle. Release the tube on impact.


Development

Set up as in the middle picture.

The ball carrier (A) runs out, aiming for the try line. The tackler runs out at the same time, around his cones, (T) aiming for the ball carrier.

Even the slowest tackler should be able to angle his run to intercept the ball carrier.

The defender runs around the cones, then tracks and tackles the ball carrier from the side.

The defender runs around the cones, then tracks and tackles the ball carrier from the side.


Game situation

Set up as in the bottom picture.

Both pairs move forward, with the tacklers moving into the “torpedo release” area – a small square of four cones – before running out to intercept the attackers.

Each attacker must choose a different side to run down.

Score a point for each successful “torpedo”, which brings down a ball carrier. Swap attackers and defenders regularly.

The defenders run in to the shaded “torpedo release” area, then out to tackle the runners.

The defenders run in to the shaded “torpedo release” area, then out to tackle the runners.


What to call out

  • “Do not dive, drive”
  • “Track the ball carrier. Intercept, don’t chase”
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