EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Weak shoulders? Close those gaps

A weak shoulder is where the defender is attacked on the side he is not set up to tackle on so normally the attacker can step inside. The two activities will help players gain better balance before making a tackle. By Dan Cottrell

TECHNIQUE

  1. Turning the hips and shoulders to cover the outside break exposes the weak shoulder and allows the defender to be stepped
  2. Aim to keep “square” to avoid being stepped

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACTIVITY

  1. A feeder passes to a runner
  2. The defender moves forward, aiming to protect the first line, which is worth two points
  3. The runner can go for the inside line or the far line
  4. The second line is worth one point
  5. Use two-handed touches or the “touchline” to stop the attacker

GAME SITUATION

  1. A feeder passes to four attackers
  2. Two defenders start at the side of the box, using two-handed touches to stop the attack
  3. Option: Put a larger points score if the attack can score close to the starting touchline

CHALLENGE

This session looks at the ball carrier attacking the weak shoulder but is more about defenders avoiding this problem.

SET UP

Cones and ball.

HOW TO DO IT

ACTIVITY

  • Set up a feeder, attacker and defender as in picture 2. The feeder passes the ball to the attacker who aims to score either over the 2 point line or the 1 point line.
  • The defender must make sure he does not give up his “inside” and still make a tackle on the “outside”. He may have to give up some ground to stop the outside attack.
  • Make sure the players swap sides so they work on both shoulders. Use touch tackling, where the defender must get two hands on to the ball carrier.

GAME SITUATION

  • Put four attackers and two defenders in the box, with a feeder at one side (see picture 3). Once the feeder passes the ball, the attack must score at the far end.
  • They can only run forward, but can pass left or right. Allow no rucks or offloads.
  • After a score or an infringement, start the same group but from the other side. Swap roles after an attempt from each side.

TECHNIQUE

  • Stay inside the ball carrier and upright before committing to the tackle.
  • Drive your head past the ball carrier with arms wrapping him up as the shoulder makes impact with the side of the ball carrier.
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