As the attack goes the same way from a ruck, where should the first defenders line up? There are no hard and fast rules, so use this breakdown activity to help them make the right decisions. MORE
Get off the line
Fast line speed around the breakdown is crucial when trying to shut down an attack. Use this defensive activity to get organised quickly and put the opposition carriers under pressure.
An organised line of defenders coming up fast will reduce the opposition’s options and force mistakes.
- Put four defenders on one side of a ruck (indicated by cones), with an attacking 9 and 10 opposite.
- Blow your whistle and the defenders must get around the corner and into a defensive position onside.
- On your second whistle, the 9 passes to 10 and the defenders fly off the line as fast as possible over the first 5 metres.
- Develop with another two attackers and this time the defence has to react if the ball goes wide or an attacker runs through the middle.
- Use touch tackling on the front of the attacker.
- Finally, the defence come around the corner and – on your whistle – back-peddle 5m, do a down-and-up and then run forward as before.
- This increases pressure on the defenders, who must produce a very high line speed to shut down the space between defence and attack.
- Get your spacing quickly.
- Sprint off the line but stay in line.
- Slow men on the inside.
- Talk and nominate who’s covering who.