EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Defend in threes and fours

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

ACTIVITY

  1. Set up your players as above with one player and ball next to a wide gate of cones and another next to a narrow gate of cones. The distances between the cones should reflect the age and ability of the players.
  2. Shout which set of cones the defenders must run to – “NARROW” or “WIDE”. The defenders run and set up to cover this gate.
  3. When the player by that gate bends down to touch the ball, the defenders move forward to tackle the ruck-pad holders, leaving the last defender free. 
  4. Defenders return to the middle to repeat the exercise.

DEVELOPMENT

  1. Set up a 6  v 4 as above with coloured cones to indicate a narrow and wide width to cover. 
  2. Shout out which colour the attackers must get past while the defence starts from the red gate. 
  3. Start with touch tackling to check the line is working. Then move on to full contact.

GAME SITUATION

  1. Play 8v4. Start at the side of the pitch and say whether the next attack is wide or narrow (see above). 
  2. To start, the ball must be passed off the ground and the defence must be at least 2m from it. Play full contact rugby and stop if a ruck or maul forms.

TECHNIQUE

  • Stay onside and call out what player you are tackling.
  • Look ahead and still know who is next to you.
  • Move up together.
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