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
Breakdown choices – clear the threats
Keep your team on the front foot in the breakdown area by making sure the players use good techniques and make the right choices on which threats to deal with.
This activity works on the full range of contact skills, starting with the ball carrier’s role and then onto techniques and responsibilities of the supporting players.
- Four attackers stand at one end of the box, passing the ball along the line.
- A defender stands around 5m away in a narrower area. Behind him stand two ruck-pad holders.
- When you shout “go” the current the ball carrier runs forward, takes a tackle and presents the ball.
- The other players run around their cones and then support the ball carrier.
- The ruck-pad holders come forward to challenge for the ball.
- Develop by taking away the ruck pads, and having the defenders at the back come from different angles and distances.
- The ball carrier has to use footwork and leg drive before and during contact with as good a presentation as possible.
- The first arriving player has to either secure ball or clear threat.
- The first arriving player has to clear low, directly over the ball with his chest as close to presenting player as possible.
- All players need to be looking up and maintaining leg drive.
Here’s a version of the drill in action.