EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Heads up ruck defence

Lots of defence drills get the players in position to tackle, but not enough spend time on setting and then, crucially tackling, especially under fatigue conditions. Play heads up, real-life situations in training.

Helps players match up to the circumstances in front of them and then complete the job.

ACTIVITY

  1. Put two attackers in the middle and two defenders on the outside of the box.
  2. Call out a letter (or ruck pad) and the defenders and attackers move to that ruck pad. The first attacker passes. 

  1. The defenders cover either side of the ruck pad, reacting to the movements of the attackers
  2. The attackers can aim to get out of the box in front of them without going over the ruck pad. Use full contact. 
  3. You release the attackers whenever you want (you could countdown from 5).

GAME SITUATION

  1. In a larger box, three defenders first defend ruck pad A, and then go to ruck pad B and then run over to C. They can run through the box to get into position.
  2. Once a tackle is completed or a try is scored, call “break”, which means the players run to the next ruck pad. 
  3. The attack doesn’t have to wait for the defenders to be in position.

TECHNIQUE

  • First player to the ruck, get to the far side, set and say so.
  • Second player, nearside of the ruck and do the same.
  • Go forward when the ball is picked up. Don’t give up the inside channel at the ruck.
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