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Guarding the breakdown
This defensive drill is designed to teach your players to automatically build an impenetrable wall around the breakdown. It will also increase your chances of forcing a turnover at the next phase.
- Four defenders lie face down, in a press-up position, at the four cones on the side of the pitch.
- On your command, the players do a press-up and race to whichever of the three coloured cones you nominate.
- On the way, they need to practise communication and decision-making.
- In the two wide channels, one player should defend the short side (or blind side), with three on the open.
- In centre-field, go for an even split, with two players guarding either side.
- Ensure players are in the right defensive positions and with the right body positions – and still communicating with each other.
- As soon as you’re happy, call another colour and they repeat the exercise at the next breakdown.
- Run through a few phases before repeating the drill in a round-robin fashion with the next group of defenders.
- Guards should stand with outside leg facing forward.
- Check spacing – an arm’s distance apart is enough.