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
Chasing the box kick
Time your chase and catch from a box kick, depending on the skills of your 9. Whatever the hang time and distance of the kick, the chaser should be able to challenge for the ball at the end of his sprint.
At pro level, the average box kick spends about 3.5s in the air. The average wing can cover about 25m in that time. Match up your kicker and chaser to make an effective attacking tactic by practising this timing.
- Put a 9 with a ball behind a dummy ruck.
- A chaser stands around 5m to the side and behind him.
- Use another cone to mark out the distance that the kick should travel as a target for the kicker and chaser.
- Put a pad holder near that cone.
- The 9 box-kicks towards the cone.
- The chaser, coming from an onside position, runs to catch the ball.
- The pad holder moves slowly forward and offers passive resistance.
- Adjust the cone’s position to suit the chasers.
- They need to work on their timing to avoid straying offside (in front of the kicker).
- Develop by having the defender with the ruck pad coming forward to offer greater resistance.
- The chaser shouldn’t take his eyes off the ball.
- If your 9 isn’t available, develop the chaser’s skills by using a tennis racket and ball.
- Stay onside by moving forward only as the 9 steps back to kick.
- Once the kick has gone up, keep sight of the ball (don’t look at the opposition).