The back row needs to operate as a coordinated unit in defence, not three individuals. Use this session to develop their roles. From a scrum, each back row player has a different running line so they can cover initial attacks, a possible break and then defend around the ruck. MORE
VIDEO: Chop tackle tech and drive
Help players develop their skills around completing a low “chop” tackle. Once the contact is made, the tackler has to recover and contest for the space over the ball.
The activity is clearly introduced with the key points, a demonstration and then the use of micro-coaching from the players to build a clearer understanding of their roles. It finishes with a small contact decision around jackling or competing for space.
- Player 2 lies on the ground between two coloured cones. There’s low tackle bag (or tube) about 2m in front of them.
- Player 3 stands behind the bag, holding a pad in two hands.
- Player 1 will act as the micro coach, encouraging player 2 to focus on the key skills.
- Call out a coloured cone.
- The prone player gets to their feet and touches that cone.
- That player then tackles the pad.
- Note that both feet are on the ground, there is a clear shoulder contact.
- The lower the contact the better.
- The tackler then recovers their feet (“speed to feet”) and drives into the oncoming pad holder.
- Ideally, the tackler would be lower, bending at the knees.
- The micro coach can also encourage “leg drive”, where the tackler keeps driving forward with powerful steps.
- The pad holder can lean forward, so the tackler has to drive up through the pad holder’s chest.
The pad holder either
- Doesn’t engage with the tackler. The tackler now has to stop at the end of the bag and then lift it as if they are going for the ball.
- Engages as they did in the original activity. Notice in the picture that the pad holder is leaning forward, forcing the tackler to get lower.
- Get the feet close into the bag.
- “Speed to feet”. Get back into the game quickly.
- Squeeze the tackle pad. Don’t push with the arms and hands.
- Simple, energised and clear instructions on what to do.
- A demonstration, which includes a coaching point.
- During the exercise, repetition of the key points, along with praise.
- Fault correction to the whole group.
- One development.
- Also, lots of emphasis on the “micro” coaches. This peer coaching is very powerful because it is individual as well as focusing that micro-coach on their own skills.
- This is an energised activity. The players are breathing hard. After the activity, use questions to check for understanding.