“An attacker picks up a rolling ball under pressure and then decides whether to pass or run to keep the play going forward.” MORE
Tuck and fend rugby coaching drill
The ball carrier starts by attacking the inside shoulder of the defender. He should slow down slightly to draw the tackle.
As the defender commits to the tackle, the ball carrier tucks the ball under his outside arm, accelerates and changes direction to attack the outside shoulder of the defender.
The fend is an open hand aimed at the shoulder or chest of the oncoming defender, as in the first picture below. If well timed, it will allow the ball carrier to push the defender away. It can also provide extra momentum to the acceleration.
If the defender manages to make the tackle – or half a tackle – the ball carrier must transfer the ball quickly back into two hands and look to pass to a support player, as in second picture below.
Make sure your centres, wingers and full back practise this skill regularly and in one-on-one live situations.
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Click the link for a rugby coaching video clip to demonstrate fending and offloading.