VIDEO: Tackle steals – ruck scenarios

Make your contact contests more game representative. This gives your players greater transfer into match day situations. In this activity, the ball carrier is tackled and the next arriving player has to compete effectively (and legally) for the ball.


  1. Put a receiver about 2m in front of a ruck-pad holder. Put a tackler about 3m behind the pad holder. A feeder stands in line with the pad holder.
  2. The feeder passes the ball to the receiver. The receiver beats the pad holder (to make them off balance). Once into the small box, the tackler brings them quickly to the ground.
  3. In the meantime, the feeder now becomes a defender. They race into position to steal the ball after the tackle has been made.
  4. The coach checks that the “stealer” or “jackler” is in a legal position to grab the ball. (In the video, the coach is better off being the camera side of the ball to observe this).
  5. Rotate positions and repeat.
  6. Develop by having the pad holder turn and pressurise the defence.
  7. Increase the intensity so the ball carrier tries to beat the first tackler.


  • Tackler: Aim low, drive into the ball carrier, grab tight. Accept that the ball carrier is likely to go forwards (a passive tackle)
  • Ball carrier: Aim to beat the tackler. Work hard on the ground to make a more difficult target to steal from.
  • Stealer/jackler: Come through at the correct angle (through the tackle gate, that is with the shoulders and hips facing up the pitch). Don’t put the hands on the ground. Drop the hips with a wide stance. Wide elbows. Try to lift the ball.

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