VIDEO: Duels: Beat them or offload

Develop a go-forward mentality with your ball carriers, and then develop ways to keep the ball alive with their supporting players. This is a physical activity, but also rewards good footwork and creative ways to pass the ball out of the tackle.


  1. Put a defender at the side of a 5m wide channel about 5m from the starting point. Put another defender at the far end, again on a corner. The channel should be around 15m long, but adjust the distances and widths to suit your players.
  2. Start three attackers at one end.
  3. The ball carrier aims to beat the defender. If they do, they run forward to beat the next defender.
  4. If they don’t, they have to pass, either as they are going down or from the ground.
  5. The last defender comes forward once the current ball carrier comes over the halfway point in the channel.
  6. The players cycle through the channel, with a different player starting with the ball each time.
  7. The “go” finishes if a ball carrier is tackled out of the box or once a try is scored.


  • Use evasive skills to beat the defender, but don’t stop going forward.
  • Pass into the path of a supporting player.
  • Supporting players, stay behind the ball carrier and only accelerate forward once you know which way the ball carrier has fallen.


Make the channel wider and add in another defender near the start.

Play “one-up” rugby game. The only passes are from the tackle until after the third tackle. Then the players can pass before or during the tackle.

For more ideas on footwork and offloading try out…

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