Make sure your players enter the breakdown legally – by getting tough through the tackle gate. This will also mean they’ll arrive square and in a better position to drive over the ball and win it. MORE
VIDEO: Know the basics of the front on tackle
This video looks at the key techniques required to make an effective front on tackle, and how you might build up the key techniques. This is essential revision for older players as well as beginners.
Get your head to one side of the ball carrier and make contact with your shoulders on the bottom of the shorts. Let the ball carrier’s momentum take you to the ground and hold on with a tight grip.
HOW TO DO IT
- Warm-up: With each player on their haunches, with their arms out. Have them fall backwards and to one side. They must turn, land on their front and jump up. Make sure they fall both ways. This will simulate “falling” when making a front on tackle.
- Main practice: In a 2 metre channel, set a tackler on their haunches. A ball carrier jogs forward and falls over a designated shoulder of the tackler.
- Develop this by increasing the speed of the runner and making sure they attack both shoulders. Eventually, have the tackler standing up to tackle proactively.
- Change the aggressiveness of the runner depending on the levels of your players.
- Have two tacklers in a line, with one tackler going lower than the other.
A GAME SITUATION
The session can be developed further by playing the “break the line” game.
- Mark out a 10 metre square box. Three defenders have to defend a line against two attackers with a ball.
- Keys are communication and good use of the front on tackle.
- Make sure the tackling team complete the tackle by getting to their feet to contest for the ball.
- Only once the ball is retrieved by the defenders, or the attackers have scored, is the game over.
WHAT TO THINK ABOUT
Can the front on tackle be used more aggressively with the ball carrier driven back? It is recommended that at junior levels, tackles are kept at thigh height. At more experienced levels, the tackler can target the ball. Some players can be taught to step into the tackle, with the front foot and impact shoulder on the same side of the body.