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.

Up fast, drift square

in Defence

Cut down the space in front of the attack and then cover across if they have an overlap without exposing the inside shoulder. Here’s how to do it. MORE

Post-tackle space

in Defence

Work on the first clearing out defender getting to the tackle situation as soon as the ball carrier is down. Make sure he makes the most difference to winning back the ball. MORE

Make your ruck defence rock solid

in Defence

How to create a simple defensive system around the edge of your rucks to: Deny the opposition easy gains; pressure them into mistakes; create more chances for turnovers. MORE

Target the rabbit

in Defence, Rugby drills

Against expansive teams, work out who is the weakest attacker and target him by closing him down when he gets the ball. Then turn him over and counter attack. MORE

Twice the tackler

in Defence, Rugby drills

Beef up your defence so players make tackle after tackle. The opposition will be put under immense pressure in attack and will be staggered by your defensive work rate. MORE

Hitting the wall (of noise)

in Defence, Rugby drills

Focus on man-to-man marking, so the attack feels like it is running into a wall of defenders. It requires good footwork and working with the other defenders to make sure there are no holes in that wall. MORE

Tackler teams

in Defence, Rugby drills

This works on low tackles and the decisions of the tackler himself and the next arriving defender to maximise the chances of a turnover. MORE

Gang of three

in Defence, Rugby drills

Improve your players’ tackle technique along with understanding the role of the closest defenders both inside and outside the tackler. ACTIVITY ŒStart with just one defender running sideways and then forward to make a tackle The ball carrier comes forward and is tackled   DEVELOPMENT ŒDevelop by having two defenders The second defender either assists... MORE

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