A clearer at a ruck must look to go beyond the ball. This not only drives back defenders, it frees up the ball for your scrum half to grab and maintain continuity. This activity helps players focus not only on clearing the ruck but encourages them to target the most important factor at the breakdown - the ball - and gets them driving beyond it. MORE
VIDEO: Ruck decisions 2 v 2
Use this activity to work on rucking with lots of action and players not knowing who they might be up against in the tackle contest.
- Put a ball carrier and tackler about 3-5m apart. Behind each player put a line of at least five different colour cones, no more than 1-2m apart. Have a player on their knees on each cone.
- Indicate which way the ball carrier will go (either left or right). Call out a colour and the ball carrier runs to that side and is tackled. At the same time, the players on each cone race out.
- There’s a one v one ruck. Call stop when the ball is won by either side or there’s an infringement.
- In the meantime, all the players shuffle forward to fill the gaps. The players involved in the action run to join the back of the groups they didn’t start in.
Work to get over the ball.
WHAT TO CALL OUT
- Get lower than your man.
- Stay on your feet and keep driving forward.
DEVELOP THE PRACTICE
Play a normal game of touch rugby, 6 v 6 in a 30m box. Give one side a number from 20 to 25 and the other side 30 to 35.
When there’s a two-handed touch, the ball carrier has to go to ground. Call out a number for each team. Those two numbered players have to compete for the ruck ball. If the ball carrier on the ground’s number is called, he has to let go of the ball, get to his feet and protect the ball. Develop by calling out more than one number for each team.