Tacklers need to feel confident that the right technique works. This is more difficult when they are practising with static targets. Part of the reason why a ball carrier goes to ground is that they are unbalanced, and so it's much easier to bring a moving player down to the ground. MORE
VIDEO: Learn long ball placement
If your ball carrier goes to ground and can’t offload, ideally he should stretch his body lengthways to present the ball to his support. It puts distance between the ball and pilfering opponents…
Good ball placement, concentrating on the long (or “pencil”) technique.
HOW TO DO IT
- Put two players with a ball in front of a line of four cones spaced 5m apart.
- The ball carrier runs to the first cone. He goes onto his knees, twists and presents the ball back towards where he came from.
- The next player picks up the ball, runs to the next cone and repeats the action.
- The players go to the end of the line of cones and then return.
- Develop the drill by having a line of tacklers on one knee, each by a cone. The ball carrier runs to the tackler, gets tackled and presents in the same way.
Twist after landing on the hips, not before.
WHAT TO CALL OUT
- “Keep both your hands on the ball as you fall”
- “Stretch back as far as you can”
- “Land on your knees, then hips”
- “Don’t twist too early or else you’ll lose your momentum”
A SIMPLE PRACTICE
Play a game of touch rugby, no more than 7 v 7 in a 30m square.
The ball carrier has 1 second to pass the ball after being touched, otherwise, he has to use a good ball placement – ideally a long ball placement.
After the touch and the player going to ground, at least one defender needs to go on his front before getting back up.
Poor placement – such as a loosely controlled ball – means a turnover to the other side.
Develop by making it a 1 v 1 contest over the ball after the ball carrier has gone to ground. The player who made the touch cannot contest for the ball.