EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Eight rules for rucking in rugby

1. Fight to ground

The ball carrier works hard into contact. A job done well here can make everything else easier. The ball carrier should show agility into contact and aim to drive past the tackler and not directly into his core area and fall at his feet.

2. Place away

The ball carrier should not place the ball until he is settled on the ground. This means under control. He should try to get his body turned back towards his own team, placing the ball as far from the opposition as he can. This reduces the size of the gate and makes it more difficult for the opposition to reach over to get the ball.

3. Drive and clear

As the ball carrier is being tackled, the support players should begin to drive him forwards and clear out all tacklers. They should aim to drive past the ball but stay on their feet.

4. Low body, head up

Body positions of all players in contact should be low and dynamic with the head up and eyes open.

5. Same shoulder, same foot

When driving into the opposition, the support players need to step close towards the target in front of them. The contact should be with the same shoulder as the foot that steps in. This will increase the effective transfer of power and weight into the contact area.

6. Punch from the arms

Ensure that the players’ arms “punch” forward dynamically, with the arms starting in and elbows tucked into the body. Once bound, the player should grip the opposition tightly.

7. Maintain momentum

Players should maintain the forward momentum throughout the ruck. They do this by keeping low and driving up.

8. Protect the ball

Once defenders have been cleared, the next supporting player should protect the ball. He stays on his feet with a low centre of gravity, straight back and feet much wider than a shoulder width apart. This will give your player a solid base.

This article is from Rugby Coach Weekly.

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