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.

How to defend as a backrow 2

Back row defence

in Defence, Practice plans

Since the back row is closest to the opposition attack from a scrum, it can make the most difference on defending attacks within 10m of the scrum. This session looks at its roles from normal and wheeled scrums and how it might stop the attackers on the gain line. MORE

Coaching creative defence 2

Creative defence

in Defence, Practice plans

Challenge defenders to work in pairs but from different starting angles and distances from the attack. They will have to make decisions about whether to “manage” the attack by drifting or to close it down before it can spread the ball wide. MORE

Lifecycle of the tackle

in Defence

There is a lifecycle to a tackle that starts with the contact point and ends when the ball is either recycled or turned over. Concentrate on this philosophy to improve tackle outcomes. MORE

How to coach run over turnovers 3

‘Run over’ turnovers

in Defence, Practice plans, Rucking & Mauling

Defending at the side of the ruck provides an excellent chance for a turnover because of the closeness of defenders. If the first defender can put the attacker on the ground, the second defender can cause the turnover by quick thinking. In this session, we develop the “run over” turnover. MORE

Coaching and developing the blitz system 3

Get ready to blitz

in Defence, Practice plans

Players need to position themselves outside their intended target to make sure they come from out to in on the “blitz”. This session works on alignment to blitz as pairs and threes and then how backs and forwards connect in defence. MORE

Eight-man drift session

in Defence

Even with less than 10 players, you can run an effective and very active drift defence session. Use this activity as a warm-up for a larger group work out as well. MORE

Defend in threes and fours

in Defence

Build a defence ethic by defending in threes and fours. Players will have to cover narrow and wide spaces, improving their tackling and communication.  MORE

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