Manipulate the attack by Zinzan Brooke

A ball carrier will want to attack a defender square-on so he has both shoulders to run at. So the defender should start to the side so he can dictate where the attacker runs before making a tackle.

Standing inside or outside the attacking target will force him to move to where you want.

  1. Set up a 1 v 1, with the defender opposite the attacker.
  2. The defender aims to make a shoulder contact with the attacker.
  3. Next, have the defender start from the corner.
  4. He should be able to manipulate the attacker to make a side-on tackle.

  1. Now, set up a 2 v 2, with an attacking feeder.
  2. The attackers and defenders align along the sides of the box, and then the feeder passes into the box.
  3. The defenders should line up either inside or outside the attackers.

  1. The attackers aim to score while the defenders aim to get a shoulder onto the ball carrier – get them to practise the techniques shown above.
  2. (A) Keep the eyes open in the tackle, with the head to the side.
  3. (B) For a bigger impact, target the ball carrier’s midriff.


  • Come forward towards the attacker.
  • Don’t get in front of the attacker until the last moment.
  • Head to the side of the ball carrier in the tackle.
  • Target the “bread basket” (stomach) with the shoulder for a heavier impact


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