Shuffling and cross-over steps are essential skills for a defender to react to a change of direction of an attacker. Work on these in the development of your players’ tackling progression. MORE
Buster ball from quick rucks
When you dent their line and win a quick ruck, it pays to have a play in your locker to make a decisive break while they’re recovering their shape. Have your 9 run off the forwards with this “loop and give”.
This back play exploits a defence struggling to get back in position from your break and quick recycle.
- Set up an attacking 9, 10, two forwards (F) and another runner (R) against five defenders.
- Each defender stands by a cone, with the attackers opposite.
- When you shout “go”, the defenders get onside using the ruck pad as the offside line.
- The attackers realign, with two forwards moving wide (say, 8m from the ruck) and the 10 getting in behind them.
- The 9 clears the ball to the furthest forward, who runs slightly inwards.
- Depending on how the defence reacts, this forward can go himself, pass inside or pass to the 9 running around on the loop.
- Ideally, the 9 gets the ball and straightens before passing to the 10 or going himself.
- He can also pass to the runner.
- Develop by adjusting the starting positions.
- If the attack is struggling, reduce the number of defenders.
- The wide forward must be ahead of the inside forward.
- Take the ball to the line.
- Keep square when running with the ball – don’t slide across the pitch.