Tackle right: fall on top

By Eamonn Hogan, experienced rugby coach working with representative teams in the UK and the US

Players will be asked to perform a number of important roles once a tackle has been completed. This activity shows that being on top following a tackle allows them to get up quickly and back into the game before their tackled opponent.

Set up

• A 10m square
• 3 players
• 1 tackle tube
• 1 stopwatch and one ball.

Tackle right: fall on top

What you get your players to do (see picture 2)

Player 1 holds the tube in the centre of the square.

On your call of “GO”, player 2 runs, tackles the tube and rolls left or right while still holding the tackle tube. The tube is now on top of the player.

When you believe the tackle has been made shout “YES”.

The player gets to his feet and sprints back to the start line.

All of this activity has to be timed. Tell the player to remember his time (or get an assistant to write it down).

Now comes the interesting part. Ask the players to repeat the activity again but this time ask them to hit the tube but try to stay on TOP this time.

Again, when you shout “YES”, ask them to sprint back.

Ask players why they are quicker when they are on top of the tube rather than the other way around.



Arms not wrapped around tackle tube.

Head placement must be correct – to the side.

Keep questioning players – if you keep asking them, they will analyse their tackle performance just in case you ask them how it went.


Development (Picture 3)

A ball carrier aims to run between 2 cones instead of a static ruck pad but reinforce the need for the tackler to be on top after he has completed a correct and safe tackle.


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