EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Sidewinders

Creating realistic side on tackling opportunities

A disorganised defence will need to make more side on tackles. This game creates more opportunities for side on tackles, though it does not mean that all the tackles will have to be side on.

Set up

Players: Minimum 7 v 7.
Area: 30m square.
Equipment: One ball.

Game notes

  • To start the game proper, the attack has to go through a defined “tackle area”. Once through this area, play normal rugby rules.
  • The first ruck is non-contested, but the ball must be released within two seconds.
  • Any infringement leads to a restart.
  • Do not allow kicking.

Score

  • 3 points for a try.
  • 1 point for any tackle after the first ruck.

48 key

Sidewinders-1

Set up a mini scrum, with a 4 v 4 in open play. Play through a “tackle area” to start the game.

 

Sidewinders-2

The defence can tackle but cannot compete for the ball until after the first ruck.

 

Sidewinders-3

The first ruck lasts only two seconds before the ball is released. Play on with normal rugby rules.

What to call out

  • “Keep your eyes open in the tackle”
  • “Tackler: get your feet close to the ball carrier and drive through”

Coaching notes

  • Side on tackles happen when the defence is stretched, with defenders moving laterally to catch the ball carrier. The defined “tackle area” creates a definite ruck and the defence has to chase round to cover. Of course, the attack might break through first time, in which case, the scrum players will have to cover across to make side on tackles.
  • Change the balance of the teams to create different defensive situations.
  • Change the “tackle area”.
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