Attacking a drift defence

Most sevens defences use a drift system, where the defenders move out with every pass. To negate this, fix the defence with good alignment, pull-back passes and a square stance when running.

Players should always work on good habits. Reloading – getting realigned to attack – is one such habit. Players need to achieve the best position to come forward onto the ball, staying square in the process and also while passing. The drill will work equally well for 15-a-side.

  1. Start five players in the best alignment to pass along the line.
  2. Each player runs at the cone in front of him, passing just before he reaches it.
  3. It’s a pull-back pass at about 45 degrees.

  1. To progress, each player starts next to his cone.
  2. You call them to reload (so they run back and then forwards) and they must find the best depth and repeat the passing exercise.

  1. Finally, repeat the reload but add three defenders.
  2. They come forward once the first pass is made.


  • Stay square when running with the ball.
  • Pull the pass back, turning the chest towards the receiver.
  • Reload fast, then put the outside foot up to start run (to help you set off straight rather than drift out).
  • Attack inside the shoulder of the defender and stay square whilst running, only turning the chest to pass
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