Use this series of exercises to build up simple skills for rucking. It starts with low impact techniques before upping the level of contact in a breakdown contest.
Contact needs careful management. Skills should be honed before they are put into bone-on-bone situations. MORE
Even when your players run predictable lines, there are still going to be occasions when they need to support the tackled player when they least expect it. This session works on this part of the game. If the ball carrier is momentarily isolated, support players need to react quickly to secure the ball.
Though you want to avoid defenders, sometimes you will have to take contact. Develop ways to retain possession at the ruck and after by keeping the ball carrier active in the tackle.
Defences will aim to force turnovers if the ball carrier can’t release a pass. If the ball carrier works hard to twist, turn and spin during the tackle, they will become less of a target. MORE
Winning a ruck with just one player is a great way to maximise numbers post contact. In open spaces, this is a top skill to develop to retain quick ball and play again.
Attacking away from congested areas, this is an ideal way to keep quick ball going. It’s also a good individual skill for normal rucks too. MORE
Use a flag pole to help players to find the best height to arrive at the contact area. The lower they arrive, the easier it is to win the contest over the ball.
The pole creates a strong visual cue. It helps players get used to dipping down to the right height. MORE
Make sure your players focus on their roles. They need to know what they will do once the set piece has finished or a ruck has been won and lost.
Improve your team’s continuity of possession and defence by helping them to think ahead. MORE
Introduce players of mixed ability to contact by building up the skills through games and questioning.
I’ve found that using this progression of activity, the players develop contact skills together. You can adjust the pitch sizes and timings to suit your players. MORE
Can your team ruck for 20 phases? It’s not a common scenario, but challenge them in training to maintain the skill execution and accuracy for this type of ball retention.
If your team can concentrate for 20 continuous phases, it will mean that your normal multi-phase rugby will be much easier to execute. MORE