Creative defence to shut down options
Put pressure on attacking teams by changing the angles of defensive lines. Either they are drifting out or cutting in to force the attacking team in or out.
This is a simple session to create a sophisticated defence where each defender decides the best course of action to stop an attack. A very competitive activity.
Put two defenders inside one half of the box and three attackers at one end with a feeder to the side.
Shout out to the defenders which line (“5m” or “10m”) and which cones to start from.
Then release the attack.
In the situation above, the defenders are closer to the attack, but more spread out.
Playing two-handed touch or full contact, the defence has to prevent the attack from getting to the far end of the box.
Add an attacker next to the feeder who supports the tackled player – perhaps looking for an offload or to clear the defender.
Make the box wider and add a defender by the feeder who supports the defence.
Put three defenders at the corner of the box and four attackers with a feeder at the other end.
Indicate which the length of the try line the defenders have got to mark (A =15m, B=25m or C=35m).
Give the defenders a couple of seconds to adjust and then play with full tackling.
Identify who to defend and how: inside man calls the drift, the outside man the “blitz”.
Close down the space in defence, but don’t get drawn into the tackle too early.
About Dan Cottrell
Dan is a practising RFU Level 3 coach and coach educator. He coaches with the Bristol Bears DPP programme, is the assistant coach with University of Bristol Women's team and is a coach mentor for Broad Plain RFC mini and juniors section.
He was Head Coach of Swansea Schools U15 and has previously held coaching roles with the Young Ospreys Academy and as Assistant Coach with the Wales Women's Team for the 2010 World Cup.
He was director of rugby for Cranleigh School, Surrey. Previously he played rugby for Bath and Bristol.
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