Lockdown planning: Preventing quick ruck ball sessions

If you are able to train, then you will be aiming to improve your players’ skills and tactical appreciation around specific areas of the game.

If you are in lockdown, it’s a chance to hone your session planning in readiness for your return.

In Lockdown planning: Quick ruck ball sessions, we focused on applying pressure on the defence. Now, let’s plan for the other side of the ball. France’s defence coach, Shaun Edwards says that it is his main metric for success: slowing down ruck possession.

To enhance learning, you are better off focusing on an “arc” of learning for a specific area. This means spreading out the training over a number of weeks, rather than dedicating one session to this.

Here’s a four-week plan for preventing quick ball from rucks, but you can split this up into more sections if you want.

Objective: Apply pressure on the attack to make a mistake or kick the ball by preventing quick recycling of the ball from the tackle.

Week one: Tackle technique – tackling in pairs

Week two: Counter rucking

Week three: Defensive organisation around the ruck

Week four: Reorganising ruck defence

Let’s say you dedicate 15 minutes each week to the activities and assuming you have warmed up before the start of contact, you could use a mix of games and drills.

Each session may include all of the skills from all of the weeks. However, each week focuses on the specific skill, the reasons why it is important and how the players could improve their own contributions.

The mix depends on the skills of your players. Here are four ideas to help.

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