EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

3 ways to stop a ball poacher

The best way to stop an opponent stealing your ball is to beat him to the breakdown. But if you do lose the race, use one of these three techniques to thwart him – in and out, scissoring or breaking the pane. We don’t endorse the “croc roll” where the player is rolled out.

Once an opponent is low over the ball, you have to remove his hands from it. Practise these three techniques – at first slowly and then under pressure – to help players replicate them in a game.

  1. Break the pane – get the head and shoulders between the arms and ball and under the chest of the defender.
  2. In and out – drive in and then out, which unbalances the poacher. They brace for the in and then you unbalance with the out movement.
  3. Scissor the defender’s hands together so he releases the ball.

  1. Then, a player works his way along a line of low defenders who are leaning over a tackle tube with their hands on the ball.
  2. At each pad, he performs a different technique.

  1. Two players race for the ball on your command.
  2. The defender aims to get over the ball. He goes from various starting points and doesn’t need to enter through the tackle gate.
  3. The attacker always starts from one of the corners.

TECHNIQUE

  • Break the pane – the player goes through the gap between the arms and ball, driving through and up onto the chest of his opponent
  • In and out – the player grabs his opponent at the shoulder, drives him in and then out.
  • Scissor hands – the player grabs his opponent’s arms from the outside and pushes them together, dislodging the hands from the ball.
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