EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Flat four line speed 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. 

  1. Line up four attackers against six defenders.

  1. When the 9 passes the ball, one defender calls for the line to run up. 

  1. If the ball is passed out to the farthest player, the defence continues to run forward. If it is passed to a closer player or the 9 goes themselves, the defenders come up and in.
  2. If the player in front of the ball carrier makes a touch, the players return to the pads and start again. Repeat three times and swap.
  3. Set up around 1m behind the offside line to avoid penalties.

TECHNIQUE

  • The first action for all players is to move forward together, covering the channels in front of them.
  • If there is an inside pass or a pick and go, the outside defenders and the players on the far side of the ruck move in towards the ball to challenge.

GLOSSARY

Tackle line: The line at which tackles are likely to be made. 

Gainline: The line level to where play started.

Offside line: The line level with the back foot of the breakdown.

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