EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

VIDEO: Tactical analysis of blitz at the breakdown

An aggressive ruck defence system can put instant pressure on the opposition by targeting the first receiver. Watch Sean Holley talk through his “King drill” and then put his idea into practice…

 

THE SKILL

Creating a blitz-style ruck defence.

HOW TO DO IT

Put two defenders behind a ruck (represented by a ruck pad) and two defenders in front of it on the attacking side (see graphic). A 9 plus four other attackers get into position to play from this ruck.

When you shout “play”, the defenders get in position as follows:

  1. Defender 1 marks the edge of the ruck and covers any pick-and-go from a forward or an inside runner.
  2. Defender 2 covers a running 9 or advances to cover inside the “King”.
  3. Defender 3 (the “King”) runs back onside and marks the first receiver, coming from outside to in. If the 9 runs, he jams in further.
  4. Defender 4 (the “space” defender) runs back onside and covers the area just outside their first receiver, in case that player steps in and puts a team-mate into that space.

The attack runs its plays and the defenders advance to ensure they’re in front of the potential ball carrier.

COACHING TIP

Outside defenders should line up outside the player they’re marking.

WHAT TO CALL OUT

  • “Come off the line fast but connected to your team-mates”
  • “Don’t step in or out, unless the player inside you does too”
  • “Inside defenders keep straight”

A SIMPLE PRACTICE

Play a game of touch rugby. No more than 7 v 5 in a 30m square.

If the attacking team is touched, the ball carrier goes to ground and presents the ball using a squeeze ball after 3 seconds. They must play towards the same touchline until they reach 5m from the touchline.

This means the defence has to get into position to cover the same-way attack from a ruck.

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