VIDEO: Retaining the ball at the wide ruck

If the ball carrier beats the first man and then is tackled, it creates a wide ruck, where the next two supporting players can maintain quick ball by stacking up behind the tackled player.


  1. Put a feeder and two attackers at one side of the box, a defender just inside the box, and another defender about 5m away.
  2. The feeder passes to the first attacker who uses footwork to step outside the first defender. This first defender is passive, and makes no attempt to tackle.
  3. The first attacker then goes to the second defender, is tackled and presents the ball – preferably with a long placement.
  4. The second attacker goes over the top of the ball on the ground and takes up a strong position beyond the ball, aiming to retain his bodyweight. The feeder then follows in behind, binding behind the hips of the second attacker.
  5. The first defender comes round and tries to dislodge the attackers.
  6. Develop by making the first defender aim to tackle the first attacker.

NOTE: The position of the first ruck support player is debatable. At junior levels, encourage the player to be in a crouched position, not with their hands on the ground.


  • In a 10m box, put two defenders in the middle. Have a ball at the side of the box in the middle. Put two attackers inside the box and another attacker next to a feeder.
  • The feeder passes to either one of the attackers, who aims to beat defender in front of him, but cannot offload the ball.
  • The attack aim to recycle the ball within three seconds of the tackle being made.
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