EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

VIDEO: Learning the front-on tackle

The front-on passive tackle can floor bigger opponents who’ve built up a head of steam. They’re likely to win the contact, so “soak up” their momentum by bringing them crashing down on your side.

 

THE SKILL

Developing execution of the front-on passive tackle.

HOW TO DO IT

  1. Start by teaching the tackler to fall correctly in a passive tackle. Have him crouch and fall back to his left, keeping his elbows tight into his sides. Then repeat on the other shoulder. Do four on each side.
  2. Now put a ball carrier in front of the tackler. Have the tackler again on his haunches, but this time he holds tightly around the carrier with his head tight on one hip and his inside foot between the carrier’s feet.
  3. Have the carrier fall forward, over the front foot of the tackler, so that the tackler lands with his head on top of the carrier’s hip. Repeat several times on each side.
  4. Mark out a 2m square box.
  5. Have the players walk towards each other in the box to perform the tackle.
  6. Increase the pace as the players become more confident.

COACHING TIP

Don’t turn the head away from the tackle – keep the eyes open and focus on getting the head tight into the ball carrier’s hip.

WHAT TO CALL OUT

  • “Front foot between the ball carrier’s feet”
  • “Tight grip”
  • “Soak up the momentum and let the carrier fall over your shoulder”

A SIMPLE PRACTICE

Put two attackers at each corner of a 2m square box and a defender in the middle of the other end. The attackers pass the ball between each other. When you say “go”, the current ball carrier walks or jogs through the box.

The defender steps forward and makes a passive/soak-up front-on tackle so the carrier falls forward. Having two attackers means the defender will practise tackling with both his left and right shoulder.

Develop by adding another defender on one of the corners. Say “go” to start the 1 v 1 tackle as above. Then, a few seconds later, say “go” again. Now the two players not involved in the tackle come in to compete for the ball.

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