Because there are so many possible situations at rucks, teaching these skills is a real challenge for coaches. You need to create a balance of good techniques first and then bring them into game contexts as soon as possible. MORE
Tackle low, score high
The low tackle is the best way to neutralise mismatches in size and power. It relies on a tackler closing down space to restrict the attacker’s speed and momentum – use this scoring game to get it right.
Develop close-quarter defence and the need to shut down space. But remain in a balanced position, able to move and apply leg drive in the tackle.
- Set up various grids, each with a defender plus an attacker holding a ruck pad laterally across his body with hands in front of the pad.
- On your command, the attacker attempts to get to the far end of the box to score 5 points.
- The defender aims to tackle him (2 points), drive him out of the box (1 point) and keep him behind the gain line (2 points).
- Each tackler has two tackles in each box before swapping to become the attacker.
- Then they swap boxes.
- The players keep a tally of their own scores.
- Move forward on the balls of your feet.
- Elbows in, hands up.
- Crouched but balanced, leaning slightly forwards.
- Eyes on target area – the waist/hips area immediately below the ruck pad.
- Use shoulder contact, not arm contact.
- Grab tight (“ring of steel”).
- Use small, powerful steps to drive the attacker back and off-balance.