At the breakdown, many defensive teams concentrate a great deal of effort on scanning then spoiling the tackle area before the attacking half-back gets his hands on the ball. Top-tier New Zealand sides use a simple but very effective method of sealing the tackle ball and giving their 9 a line of defence from the would-be spoilers. MORE
Super rucks: edge, knife and focus
Aim for super accurate outcomes at the collision contest, with the ball carrier winning the contact edge, then knifing, while the supporter focuses on the ball.
- A feeder passes the ball to a receiver
- The pad holder can move up to another 5m away from the inside cone
- A defender stands opposite the feeder
- The receiver runs at the middle of the ruck pad (intentionally to create a contact and power into the contact)
- The feeder and defender race to win the space over the ball as the pad holder steps aside
- The ball carrier must twist and turn, ideally with their lead shoulder changing from the first contact
- The arriving player should be square so their shoulders and hips are facing up the pitch
- When they go over the ball, if they have to briefly put their hands on the ground, they shouldn’t extend their hips
The ball carrier needs to win the collision on their terms, twist, turn and return the ball to their team while the support player goes over the ball square, and not at an angle.
Ruck pad, cones, ball.
HOW TO DO IT
- Have a feeder pass the ball to a receiver.
- The receiver runs at the middle of the ruck pad (note it is the middle so they have a clear target). They go to ground and “knife” the ball back by twisting and turning.
- The feeder and a player opposite them race to win the battle over the ball.
- The ruck-pad holder should move out of the way.
- Replace the ruck-pad holder with a tackler.
- Change the starting points for the support players.
- Score the try when falling in the tackle.
- Then land on the left shoulder and turn so the right shoulder is now on the ground or vice versa.
- Go over the ball square.
- Don’t over extend so the hands have to support the body weight.