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.

Cure a leaky defence

in Defence, Rugby drills

Already leaked more tries than you expected this season. Here's some cures to shore up your defensive line, which concentrate on technique, skills and organisation. Remind your players of what they do well and then help them to address their weaknesses. MORE

The 8 basics of ruck defence

in Defence

Shut off the easy yards for opposition sides attacking from the ruck. Ensure your players are in the right place, at the right time and making the difference. 1. MESS WITH THEIR BALL Slow their ball placement legally, so your ruck defence can get into place. The tackler gets up over the ball by twisting... MORE

Flat four line speed defence

in Defence

Use this defensive system in a game context to pressure the attack. Each player has a defined role in challenging the attacking team on the gain line and, with good technique, drive them back. By shutting down the space, the attack has less time to think, see and react and this can result in “unforced” errors in their play.  MORE

Keeping defence up-to-date

in Defence

Katleho Lynch coaches Springbok Schools U18s defence as well as being a director of rugby at a top South African school. He shares some of his latest thoughts around coaching defence. MORE

How to target the ball through tackling 2

Target ball

in Defence, Practice plans, Tackling

There are currently two fashionable tackles: The chop, where the tackler “chops” the legs of the ball carrier and a ball tackle, where the tackler aims to put his shoulder and/or arms on the ball, thus preventing an offload. This is sometimes known as the “choke” as well. It requires a different set of footwork, because the angle of attack is upwards, rather than horizontal. MORE

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