Use these breakout exercises to focus on handling decision-making before returning the players to a game. Avoid stopping and starting – just let it run to allow the attackers to find solutions. MORE
Ruck stops here!
Ideal for improving defensive rucking
This game concentrates on the defensive positions of the players at the ruck. It allows a ruck to form anywhere in the playing area and forces each team to react and realign quickly.
Players: Equal numbers, minimum 5 v 5.
Area: 10m wide, 30m long.
Equipment: One ball.
- The attack always retains the ball.
- Restart after each try or infringement.
- 1 point for a try.
- 1 point for preventing the attack from getting over any of the gain lines during the game.
What to call out
- “Keep balanced, look ahead, stay onside”
- “Say who you have covered”
- “Cover the edge of the ruck first, then fill out”
- “Go forward and deny the space”
- The emphasis is on the defence. Make sure you look at their body positions, organisation and communication.
- The walking start allows you to see that the players are getting into position at the first ruck. In the first few goes at the game, take your time before releasing the ball from the first ruck, so allowing the defence to align properly.
- You can introduce a system where the first two players on each side of the ruck identify themselves. Terms that are frequently used include “A and B”, “pillars and posts”, “guards and guard dogs”.