EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Defenders one and two must defend front first

The first two defenders at the edge of the ruck must understand their roles to ensure they don’t get caught out by the running 9 or an inside pass from the opposition 10.

 

When the first two ruck defenders arrive in position, they can have a tendency to look out at the opposition 10, leaving the area directly in front of them vulnerable.

If they drift out when the ball comes out, they might be beaten by a running 9 or a pass back (or even switch) from 10.

These ruck defenders must come forward first and then out when the ball is released. This takes away this space from the attack.

The next two defenders can then run from out-to-in, attacking the spaces either side of the 10, reducing his options. These two players’ insides are covered by the close ruck defenders coming up and out.

COACHING TIP

Start square and run forward first.

TECHNIQUE

  • The first ruck defender covers the side of the ruck, the second the 9 if he is running.
  • Get off the line quickly.
  • Outside defenders, come from out-to-in.

DEVELOP THE PRACTICE

Mark out a ruck with cones, with an attacking 9, 10 and winger in position on one side of that ruck. Put two defenders at other side.

Blow the whistle, and the defenders race around into position. On your second signal, the 9 picks and either runs or passes.

The defenders have to ensure they cover the space inside the 10 and use grab tackling to stop 9 or the winger breaking through.

Score three points to the defence if they grab tackle the 10, and one if they grab tackle the 9 or the winger who cannot go outside the 10.

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