My U15 team has leaked lots of tries from scrums and lineouts recently. What are the best ways to defend from these set pieces? The problem lies in the connection between the forwards and the backs. The backs are 5-10m back from the forwards, so when the ball is released, they don’t immediately connect. MORE
Block and tackle
Individual defenders have to react quickly to changes in potential ball carriers. This session develops a defender’s ability to slide on to the ball carrier, sometimes at the last moment.
- Put two players with ruck pads 2m apart. Set up a defender no more than 2m from the defenders. Another player with a ball stands 3m to one side.
- The ball carrier passes the ball at one of the pads and the defender has to tackle that pad before the ball hits the ground. Change sides, make the defender stand closer or farther away, remove the pads and finally have the players run on to the ball.
- Five players stand 3m apart holding pads. Three attackers (A1, A2 and A3) stand behind them, with a feeder to one side. Two defenders stand 2m in front of the pads.
- The attacking team runs forward, passing a ball down the line. The defenders can only tackle the ball carrier once they have gone beyond the pads.
- The attacking team can go through any gap.
- Set up a 6v3 game. The attack (A1 to A5) lines up with a feeder, three players in a line, and two in front. The defence starts 2m back from a “gain line”.
- The ball is passed out and the defenders (D1, D2 and D3) have to react to either a pass to one of the players in the front line, or a move from the players in the line behind.
- Head up and keep your feet moving before making a decision.
- Don’t get too low before moving into the tackle.
- Listen to your team in defence. Give clear instructions.