Height is right
Tackling from the side helps players gain confidence when it comes to developing front-on tackling. However, they have to make contact at the right height to make it worthwhile.
By Dan Cottrell
WHY USE IT
This activity focuses on making shoulder contact at the correct height.
A 10m square, one ball per pair, nine red cones, one blue cone, one green cone.
HOW TO DO IT
> Play 1v1. Both players start at the middle red cone, facing their own coned gates. To one side is a blue cone, the other a green cone. On your call of “GO” the players run to their gate.
> As they begin their return to the middle, you call a colour cone for the ball carrier to attack and the defender aims to tackle him side-on and low here.
> Once both players have made a number of correct side-on tackles, bring the middle cone into play. When you call “RED”, the ball carrier goes straight, forcing the defender into a front-on tackle.
> Sight the target area early.
> Close down the space quickly.
> Tackler aims to get his feet close to the attacker and make shoulder contact mid thigh.
> After contact, tackler continues to drive his legs and wraps his arms around the attacker’s legs (“ring of steel”) until ball carrier is brought to ground.
About Dan Cottrell
Dan is a practising RFU Level 3 coach and coach educator. He coaches with the Bristol Bears DPP programme, is the assistant coach with University of Bristol Women's team and is a coach mentor for Broad Plain RFC mini and juniors section.
He was Head Coach of Swansea Schools U15 and has previously held coaching roles with the Young Ospreys Academy and as Assistant Coach with the Wales Women's Team for the 2010 World Cup.
He was director of rugby for Cranleigh School, Surrey. Previously he played rugby for Bath and Bristol.
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