Using an inverted backline shape, your runners from a ruck can give the 9 more options to pick up the best-placed player to break the defensive line. An inverted three is a group of three players that line up so the furthest player is in front. All but the first player in the line can take the ball with a player in support to drive them out and away from the previous breakdown. It’s easy for the outside players to adjust their timing to support the first player if he’s the receiver. MORE
VIDEO: How to step over and ruck
Players entering the ruck don’t always have a clear approach run. Watch our video and then practise the high-low-up “scoop” technique needed to negotiate a player lying on the ground.
Rucking after avoiding a tackler who has rolled over on the wrong side.
HOW TO DO IT
- Put two attackers 3m back from, and to the side of, a post protector on the ground. Put a tackle tube about 1m behind it, with two ruck-pad holders leaning over the tube.
- The attackers run around, squaring up to the obstacles. They step over the post protector and drive away the ruck-pad holders.
- Swap sides so the players are joining from the other angle.
- Further develop by having the players coming from both sides and different angles (like from the opposing side of a ruck, so they have to get onside first).
Go from high (over the post protector) to low to high to drive out the ruck pads.
WHAT TO CALL OUT
- “Arrive square and drive the ruck pads up, out and away”
- “Brush the chest over the tackle tube to find the best height”
- “Short steps – keep balanced over the obstacles”
- “Stay on your feet to keep the drive going forward”
A SIMPLE PRACTICE
Play a game of ruck touch. This means that when an attacker is touched, he goes to ground and presents the ball using a “jack knife” technique (twisting the upper body sharply so it’s at 90 degrees to the player’s legs).
The tackler has to go to ground as well, but can lie on top of the tackled player or roll over him onto the attacking side.
One other defender can then challenge for the ball, while two attackers can clear out.