Shuffling and cross-over steps are essential skills for a defender to react to a change of direction of an attacker. Work on these in the development of your players’ tackling progression. MORE
Practise instinctive tackling
Create low-impact tackle situations where the defender has to move into position without much time to think. A sharp response and accurate technique are called for in this defence activity.
Work on footwork to get the tackler in the right position to make a semi front-on tackle. He’ll need to get his head in the right place while driving through with his feet. Then he can work with a partner to complete the tackle.
- Put a tackler one step in front of a ruck-pad holder.
- A ball carrier stands 1m behind the pad holder.
- When you say “go”, the tackler pushes the pad holder with both hands.
- At the same time, the ball carrier runs left. He must go no wider than 4m.
- The tackler aims to tackle the ball carrier.
- The next tackler and ball carrier then step up.
- Develop by allowing the ball carrier to go left or right.
- Finally, have two defenders working together, with the second defender targeting the ball or aiming to steal it once the tackle is made.
- Hands up, elbows in.
- Short, quick steps into the ball carrier.
- Head behind the body or backside of the carrier.
- Tight grip and drive the legs to finish the tackle.