Improve your tacklers by understanding how the best defenders grew as players. I spoke to one player whose technical expertise stands out amongst her peers. By Dan Cottrell Sophie about to make a strong tackle Omega Photography www.facebook.com/photographyomega Sophie Ellis, a 17-year-old student in North Wales, has been playing rugby for the last four... MORE
U13-U16 Work on supporting the ball carrier in contact
Have the supporting player communicate the best options in contact for the ball carrier.
1. Mark out three 5m x 2m boxes each 1m from the next and staggered by 3m. Put a ruck pad holder in each box and a pair of players with a ball about 2m in front of the ruck pad holders.
2. Starting with “Pick”, the ball carrier goes into the ruck pad, goes to ground, the supporting player shouts “My pick” and swoops down to pick up the ball (see below). The players recover and move to the next ruck pad.
3. At the next ruck pad, the ball carrier steps into the ruck pad and pops the ball to his team mate as he bounces off. The support player shouts “My pop”.
4. At the last pad, the ball carrier steps into the ruck pad, turns and the support player shouts “My rip” and drives himself into the ball carrier and rips down and away with the ball.
5. The players cycle through each one. You can have the players working on the same skill at all three, or mix up the skills.
6. Develop by taking away the ruck pads, and also by working in threes. The players cycle through each one. You can have the players working on the same skill at all three, or mix up the skills.
This activity is from EasiCoach Rugby Skills Activities U11–U12 & U13–U16, click here to find out more.