An extra split second of pressure on the opposition can be the difference between success and failure. Rugby defence is not just about defensive systems. The best defensive teams enjoy defending. They are positive in defence and loud and accurate with their communication. So, does your rugby team see defence as a chore or as a great chance to win back the ball? Use the defence drills below to get your team working together to form a more cohesive defensive unit.

Stop us being too flat in attack

in Ask Dan, Attack, Defence, Rugby coaching, Rugby drills

  Q  How can you improve players’ alignment to stop them getting too flat, so they attack with pace.  Nick Howe, St Paul’s School, U13s A  While you can drill alignment, it rarely transfers into matches. That’s because players don’t sense the context and therefore, when they reach the same situations in matches, they don’t... MORE

Your man, my man

in Defence, Rucking & Mauling, Rugby drills

Use this simple defence activity to help defenders work in pairs, while giving one defender more responsibility than the other. By Dan Cottrell WHY USE IT This puts emphasis on taking responsibility for tackling. You can run this as a full tackling session or just “grab” tackling. SET UP A 10m square containing a 1m... MORE

Mission control-1

Mission, control

in Defence, Small-sided games

With different numbers at each breakdown situation, the defence needs to organise to cover both sides of the tackle or ruck. This is a high tempo game, so lots of communication and leadership are called for. MORE

Wall of defence-1

Wall of defence

in Defence, Small-sided games

Defensive systems will have a “wall” of defenders moving forward to deal with different attacking scenarios. This game concentrates on the attacking team always attacking the openside of the pitch, with runners and decoys. The “wall” will need to hold its integrity. MORE

Wide boys-1

Wide boys

in Defence, Small-sided games

A well organised group of four defenders can stifle an attack. By drifting together in a line, they can force the attack out towards the touchline. The key is to prevent gaps appearing in the defensive line. MORE

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