Step away from the defender

Evasive running is among the hardest things to teach because you have to be part rugby coach, part sprint coach and part SAQ expert. Use this activity to make real improvements in your players’ footwork.

This match-like scenario will get players in tune with stepping away from the defender.

  1. A player stands 2m back from a cone.
  2. Get them to spread their arms, and place a 1m gate on either side.
  3. Stand behind the player (who is otherwise not needed for the first part of this drill).
  4. Put a line of ball carriers 10m from the front cone, ready to sprint.
  5. Call the first ball carrier forward and when they get near the cone, they shorten their stride length.

  1. Point in which direction you wish the carrier to go.
  2. The carrier must use a “quick patter” movement to slow down and then step to the side you’ve pointed to.

  1. Develop by having a defender start at a corner of a box.
  2. An attacker advances, receives the ball from a feeder (F) and steps as before, going towards one of the gates.
  3. The defender races forward once the attacker catches the ball but must not step outside his box.
  4. He aims to touch the ball carrier.


  • Sprint and then “quick patter” the feet before stepping left or right.
  • Stay upright when shortening the stride but keep going forward.
Share this
Follow us