The danger if the players get it wrong is that an offloaded pass will give a support attacker a huge space to run into. Live practice is the only way to train players to recognise situations where a two-man tackle will work.
Players should look for the following situations to execute two-man tackles:
When the ball carrier has become isolated either by running sideways and away from his support, or by making a break and not having support with him. In both these situations, a two-man tackle can easily lead to a turnover as support attackers will be slower to arrive.
When an attacker picks up the ball and drives close to the breakdown with no intention of passing. Even if he has support close by, a two-man tackle can create an excellent turnover opportunity. If the tacklers can knock the ball carrier back, you will have forward momentum even in defence.
When the first tackler has made a front on tackle and wrapped up the ball but cannot get the ball carrier down onto the ground. A second tackler arriving quickly can help complete the tackle and win the turnover.
Two man tackle drill
1. High first
The first tackler makes a front on tackle and then stays on his feet to drive the ball carrier back.
The first tackler aims to hit the ball carrier high, targeting the ball. He gets his arms around the ball carrier to stop him being able to pass (“wrapping him up”).
The first tackler must stay on his feet throughout the tackle.
2. Low to complete
The second tackler’s role is to complete the tackle by driving the ball carrier to the ground as quickly as possible.
The second tackler comes into the tackle situation slightly from the side, so he is not impeded by the first tackler. He targets the ball carrier’s hips.
3. Stealing the ball
Once the ball carrier has been tackled to the ground, the first tackler (who has stayed on his feet) gets in a strong low position over the ball. He quickly gets his hands on the ball and pulls up to free it.
By being on his feet he has all the rights to the ball. The tackled player either has to release the ball or concede the penalty.
Coaching tips for the two-man tackle
Play games where there is one more defender than attacker. The attacking team has to keep the ball for as long as possible, while the defending team has to look for an opportunity to get two tacklers in a tackle and turnover the ball.
The low chop tackle brings the ball carrier down quickly. It then offers the opportunity to turn the ball over. This type of tackle isolates the ball carrier from his support and also stops or delay offloads.
Learn the basics of a chop tackle by ensuring the players use it as a side-on tackle. MORE
Use this full session to build up the right footwork to make strong tackles, both on an individual basis and in a team context. Warm up with some footwork and gentle contact, then start to increase the intensity. MORE
A target-ball tackle prevents offloads, but needs to avoid slipping into a high tackle. Use this session to improve techniques and keep tackling safe.
Targeting the ball is best used when there are players around the defender in case there’s a miss hit. MORE