Early/same/late ruck decisions

Split your breakdown techniques into three categories for the support players. It depends on whether they are arriving before (early), at the same time or after (late) the defence gets to the tackle.

The role of the first and second support players at each ruck depends on where the defenders are. This dictates a different decision in each case– and how many players to commit. Use this activity to work on those decisions.

  1. Put a ball carrier in each box and two defenders. Set them up as in the top picture.
  2. Have four attackers running up and down alongside the boxes, passing a ball between them.

  1. Shout out which box to attack and the ball carrier in that box moves forward.
  2. The defenders move forward at the same time.
  3. The attackers decide how many to send in to secure the ball.
  4. Call “break” and the attackers return to running up and down.
  5. Repeat the exercise either to fatigue or change after every five goes.

  1. Early – pick up if you can, otherwise be strong over the ball to repel threats.
  2. Same – arrive square and low, drive into threats.
  3. Late – get under threat, or roll threat out and away (though don’t hold onto them in the roll).
  4. Ball carrier, be busy on the ground if you can.

Here’s a walkthrough of the session.

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