EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

4 tackling footwork activities

Getting close to the ball carrier is a key technique to be able to make an effective tackle. But chasing games don’t help build up the game skills replicated in the game. Try out these four ideas instead.

1. SQUARE BALL

  1. A defender runs round into the box. Using a “push off the chest pass” (preferably), the coach or another player aims to bounce a football onto the chest of that player.
  2. The pass must be made before the defender is closer than 3m away.
  3. The defender scores a point for preventing the ball from touching the chest and three points for catching the ball without touching the chest. 

Key outcomes

  • Hands up
  • Head up
  • Keeping square

2. CORNER PUSH

Ruck-pad holders stand on one corner of the box, defenders on the opposite corner

The pad holder jogs into the middle of the box, keeping the pad facing up the pitch. At the same time, the defender jogs into the box and uses a two-hand push on the pad. 

Develop with a strong shoulder drive with a grab.

Key outcomes

  • Hands up
  • Keep square
  • Feet under the body to make a strong push

3. TWO-POLE

Two defenders come from the corner of the box to close down two attackers. The attackers can pass and dodge.

The defenders win by grabbing the ball. They also lose if an attacker turns towards the sideline or runs backwards.

Key outcomes

  • Getting square quickly
  • Teamwork and communication

4. UP AND SHOULDER

A defender lies on the ground. An attacker jogs along a line. The defender gets up and aims to get their shoulder into the shorts level of the attacker, with their arms wrapped around. The head must be behind the shorts. There’s no need to complete the tackle.

Increase the pace as players become more confident.

Key outcomes

  • Getting close
  • Proper targeting
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