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.
Split into four attackers and four defenders with a ball carrier and defender separate. The groups of four run around the circles (top picture), with only one player allowed between each cone at any one time (thus avoiding bunching).
When you shout a letter, the ball carrier runs into and through that box, and gets tackled.
At the same time, the circle attackers and defenders react to win the ball. Play until there is either a turnover or the ball is clearly won by the attacking team.
Split into teams of seven. Put two players from each team inside each of the two boxes with a ball each and then three players from each team between the boxes.
Start playing two games of 2 v 2, full contact. Then release the other players. They have to decide which situation to support.
Once in the boxes, players cannot leave. Finish that box on a try or infringement. You can either have one team start with both balls, or you can give one ball to each team.
- Tackled player: fight to the ground to present the ball.
- Support players: identify threats as you arrive and clear them beyond your team mate on the ground.
- Better to be late and ready than early and unprepared.