The maul is a dynamic contact situation which occurs mostly from lineouts. There are lots of “coach” theories on how to set up and drive forward from a maul, some of which you might use. Now add the science to help you work out what works best for you. MORE
Rugby drills to boost ruck defensive skills
What you tell your players to do in the drills
When you are defending at rucks:
- Set yourself low in a “three-point stance” – both feet set, one hand down on the ground, eyes looking up – one step outside the edge of the ruck.
- Once the ball carrier breaks from the ruck, drive into them under their chest, then keep driving them back.
What you get your players to do
- Have your players run around in a 10m box.
- “Name” its four sides.
- You stand in the middle, with your foot on a ball.
- When you shout out the “name” of one of the sides, your players run to this side of the box and take up a three-point stance facing into the box.
- When you then touch the ball with your hand, your players must move forward three metres, keeping low, before returning to jogging around the box.
- Lay a contact pad (or cones) five metres from a parallel line.
- The length of the pad (or the distance between the cones) represents the length of a ruck.
A defender, the “guard dog”, runs and takes up a three-point stance at one end of the pad.
- An attacker stands by a ball at the other end of the pad.
- When the attacker “picks and goes” the defender moves forwards and drives him into the pad.
- Build the intensity with the ball carrier going from a walk into a full-blown attack.
The Ruck and How to Win It is a valuable rugby coaching resource to help you boost your team’s defensive capabilities at the breakdown. Click here to order a copy.
Click here for more rugby drills to boost core ruck skills.