Get your defensive structure right at the breakdown to ensure you don’t give away easy metres. Your players need to know their responsibilities to stop opponents “going through the guts”. MORE
Organisation and go forward when defending
Work on getting into position quickly to fill the spaces either side of the ruck, with the right spacings and then coming forward as a group to cut down attacking options.
- Put up to 12 players inside a 15m box, passing a ball between them.
- Shout out which coloured cone to run to. The cones are placed on the middle of each edge of the box. The current ball carrier runs to that cone, goes to ground and presents the ball back into the box.
- In the meantime, the other players run into position as if they are defending against the prone player. They have to fill out left and right of this player. They can spread outside the box, but have to be onside.
- Clap your hands when you think they are in the right positions and in an active stance ready to come forward. The player in the ground gets up and they repeat, running and passing before you shout which colour again.
- Develop by moving forward and touching the ball yourself after the player has gone to ground. The other players use that as the signal to come forward.
- Further develop by picking up the ball and passing it to another player as they all come forward. He now goes to ground and a new ruck defence is formed.
Check your spacings – arms length near the ball, more spaced out wider out.
- Be in active position ready to come forward.
- Call together when you are ready to go forward.
- Get into the line quickly and then shuffle in or out.
DEVELOP THE PRACTICE
Split players into three groups. When you call a colour, the team in possession are the attackers. The ball carrier runs to the cone and goes down. Give the defenders five seconds to get into position and then the attack aim to get past the defence. Use full contact.