Using an inverted backline shape, your runners from a ruck can give the 9 more options to pick up the best-placed player to break the defensive line. An inverted three is a group of three players that line up so the furthest player is in front. All but the first player in the line can take the ball with a player in support to drive them out and away from the previous breakdown. It’s easy for the outside players to adjust their timing to support the first player if he’s the receiver. MORE
VIDEO: Ruck defence warm-up
Get your ruck defenders into the right position then create an awareness of the ball and the attacking threats in this simple ruck warm-up exercise.
- Put two ruck-pad holders at one end of a 4m box. Put a ball at the side of the ruck with a trigger player (or coach).
- Have two defenders line up at the side of the other end of the box.
- When you (or the trigger player) says go, the defenders run into the box, and line up opposite a ruck-pad holder.
- When the trigger player touches or picks up the ball, the defenders come forward and drive into the pads.
- Develop by making the pads move laterally, so the defenders have to keep looking ahead at the possible threats.
- Line up either on the inside or outside of the pad. That means the defenders are either going to go from in-to-out or out-to-in.
- Keep square and low. That means shoulders and hips facing up the pitch.
- Come forward together.
- Look ahead, with the ball in the corner of the eyeline.