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Defense drills

This is an excerpt from Rugby Games & Drills By Rugby Football Union, Simon Worsnop.

Hit and Adjust

Ages: 12+

Skill execution: 1 Decision making: 0 Speed: 2

Agility: 2 Endurance: 3 Speed endurance: 3

Objectives

To practice adjusting position in defense after getting up from the ground; to learn how to work as a unit when fatigued.

Equipment

Four tackle bags and four tackle shields, four cones

Set-Up

Split players into groups of 12. Four players line up 5 metres apart holding tackle bags. Four players line up 5 metres from the tackle bags, facing them. Four other players hold tackle shields and line up 5 metres behind and between the bags.

How to Play

On your command, the four defenders move forward towards the bags, pointing at and naming the bags they are marking. They move forward for two or three strides before arcing to one side of the bags and then stepping in to make their hits on the bags. The defenders must hold the bags down for three or four seconds before retreating (by running forward), keeping the bags in sight. At this time, the shield holders come through the gaps between the bags. (One shield holder will be outside the bags; decide whether you or the shield holders themselves will choose the side of the bags to run through.) As the shield holders come through the gaps, the defenders nominate which to hit, move forward, and slide onto their shields. The activity should last for a specific period of time or number of tackles.

Coaching Points

  • Defenders must communicate as a unit.
  • Players must get up from the ground, quickly retreat, and realign as the defensive line.
  • Players must use good footwork and shoulder contact when hitting the shields.

Variations

Require players to use a game-specific movement, such as a simulated pass from the breakdown as starting signal; allow the shield holders to leave some of the gaps empty and align themselves outside the bags, causing the defenders to have to communicate and slide.


Defensive Choice

Ages: 12+

Skill execution: 1 Decision making: 1 Speed: 2

Agility: 2 Endurance: 3 Speed endurance: 3

Objectives

To work on speed off the line, changing direction, and working together in defense.

Equipment

Eight tackle shields, four cones

Set-Up

Split players into groups of 12. Eight players line up 3 metres apart, holding shields (half of the shields are one colour and half are another; another option is to place a bib over one group of shields). Four other players line up 5 metres from the players holding shields, facing them.

How to Play

On your command, all players move forward. When the shield holders have advanced 3 metres, call out one colour. The shields of this colour continue to move forward, and the others stop; the defenders must react both as individuals and as a unit and tackle the correct group of shields. The activity should last for a specific period of time or number of tackles.

Coaching Points

  • Shield holders should move forward quickly for the first 3 metres.
  • Players should use good footwork, which is vital to chop the stride.
  • Players must communicate well as a group.

Variations

Require that the defenders start on their chests or backs; require that the defenders start on their chests facing away from the shield holders.

Numbered Bags

Ages: 12+

Skill execution: 1 Decision making: 0 Speed: 2

Agility: 2 Endurance: 2 Speed endurance: 2

Objective

To learn how to maintain a defensive line.

Equipment

Six tackle bags, four cones

Set-Up

Split players into groups of twelve. Six players line up 5 metres apart and the other six players line up 3 to 10 metres from the tackle bags, facing them, depending on the age and ability level of the players. The players are numbered 1 through 6.

How to Play

On your command, all players move forward, at which point you call out a number. Only the player whose number is called tackles a bag; the other players retreat to the starting line. The players move up again, and another nominated player makes the tackle and holds the bag down; the first player rises from the bag and retreats with the rest of the defensive line. The activity should last for a specific period of time or number of tackles.

Coaching Points

  • The defensive line should move forward quickly.
  • Defenders should communicate well as a unit.
  • Defenders should make good hits on the tackle bags.

Variations

Require the defenders to start on their chests at the beginning of each tackle; call out two numbers at once.

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The above excerpt is from:

Rugby Games & Drills

Rugby Games & Drills

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Rugby Games & Drills

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