Tackling: gate reaction activity


A couple of balls. About 15 cones.

What you get your players to do

Put two sets of defenders at one end of the training area (see picture 1 for set-up). One stands on the try line with his back to the ball carrier. Other defenders line up ready to come in from either side and tackle when it is their turn.

Shout out to the attacker which gates/ gaps to run through. He runs through those gates, aiming to get to the try line. In the meantime, the defender turns and comes forward to make a tackle (see picture 2).

You can start by telling the defender to make contact with shoulder and arms only then progress to a full tackle. Once the tackle is completed (or missed), the next attacker and defender get into place (see picture 3).

Keep the activity quick with lots of attempts for all players in a short space of time.


  • The defender to always move forward, not get planted.
  • The defender trying to get his foot close to the ball carrier.
  • The attacker moving forward.


Get another attacker to support the ball carrier but come through the other gates/gaps.

Or have another defender at the other corner, to make it a 1v2.


Run this through rapidly. Give feedback after every tackle or attempted tackle.


With the area set up as pictured, you tell your ball carrier to go through the gates. One defender stands on the try line with his back to play.


The attacker goes through the gates called, while the defender turns and attempts to make the tackle.




Once the tackle has been made or try scored, play restarts with a new attacker and defender on the left side of the try line.

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