This series of clips shows how conditioning and good technique are crucial to be effective at the breakdown. The progressions are simple and the key coaching points are Low to high body position Strong leg drive Accuracy on the target - The tackle bag
The battle to dominate the breakdown is often the difference between winning and loosing. This area of the game is always changing so coaches need to regularly learn new things and challenge their players
Harlequins players work on a variety of techniques to "Turnover" ball and this clip shows some of the exercises they use. Coaches can choose to use similar practise's or adapt slightly for your own players
Two crucial clearance techniques - the saddle roll, and the duck and clean. It's important for players to practice these at length, under pressure, under fatigue, and with an element of decision-making in order to best re-create a match situation.
A tiring exercise of continuous rucking. Encourage your players to maintain good standards even when tiring and highlight the importance of getting straight up after one breakdown to make another.
The maul can be a fast method of retaining the ball. It commits more defenders. It can continue to gain ground. The dangers are when forwards and backs are separated in practice and the back-line players do not understand their role at the maul, or even back away from the contest.
Head coach Dickon Edwards provides some technical background prior to the academy coaches going through some of the basic principles of the work that needs to be done on the floor during contact. Winning the collision is not only about when you are on your feet
This clearing technique is used to remove defenders who have latched onto the ball and are in a low body position. Coaches can vary the angle that the clearers approach from
Australia are dominating the breakdown. Coach Nathan Grey explains why the breakdown is so important and provides some tips
The grip and roll clearing technique, (Known as saddle clearing to some) is a technique to use when defenders have already established a strong position over the ball. Using brute force will probably fail so approaching the defender slightly from the side and using the clearers momentum he grips and rolls the player away
The coach progresses a static decision making exercise into a moving one. The coach uses a ball strapped to a tackle sausage to replicate attackers and where they may be tackled. The defenders then have a decision to make, either jackal on the ball or clear opponents
The breakdown is becoming more important in rugby and elite coaches are delivering more detailed training sessions to teach the basic skills required to be effective and make decisions quickly and accurately
Progressions are used to build the technical competency and the confidence of players learning to clear defenders away from the contact area. It is interesting to see that no contact shields are used
The breakdown has become a significant area for coaches and players to focus on. All players now need the technical skills and the intensity to compete at the tackle area and if players are poor in this area teams will be exposed. Some teams will select a specialist in this area and combine his skills with tackle technique from other players so that they work in units to turn over possesion
The coaches use a variety of conditions for both the attackers and defenders to reinforce the coaching points. Small sided games enable players to learn in a live environment similar to actual match conditions
It is important for players to practice working hard on the ground to get the ball presented back to their team. This session uses bodyweight exercises to practice the movement and enforces it with a conditioned game.
The breakdown is the key to the game, whether you're trying to provide your attack with quick ball, or slow down the opposition, the breakdown is a crucial part of the game and one that deserves the attention of all coaches
Concentrating on the actions of the tackler and the support player in the moments after a tackle. It's important to practice the correct body position and technique so that the right decision can be made on the pitch.
Here players progress from making decisions at the breakdown using pads and bags to live defenders. The supporting players have to make a decision based upon the ball carrier
The coach uses a tackle sausage and ball to replicate an attacking player. If the player falls back towards the defender he secures the ball, if the attacker falls further away the defender clears aggressively. This exercise could be worked as a support player for one of your own attackers
The challenge of using games to coach contact is a tricky one for many coaches. This clip shows the Leeds carnegie academy coach explaining how to integrate games into his coaching and the different styles of delivery
What is the role of the 2nd defender at the tackle or breakdown? How do you coach players to be effective
The Northampton saints approach to defence is to "Turn over ball" and to this end the tackle is only the start of the process and the coach outlines this approach and provides some examples
Working in units and working through phases is crucial to modern day sevens and in this clip the White team show great technique and patience to work their way up the field to score. Key factors : Ball retention - Communication - Work in units - Accurate passing - Patience - Stamina
This footage outlines the importance of "decision making" in seven's. The top sides have players with a variety of skills but to be consistent performers teams require a playmaker who has the vision and tactical acumen to manage team tactics "On the move" and the ability to create opportunities out of nothing
With the new adjustments around the tackle zone, what variation would you adopt now so that this drill is now legal?
Managing the contact area is an essential part of rugby union, made up of various elements and techniques. Here's a quick look at just a couple that are featured on the website.
It is important for players to practice working hard on the ground to get the ball presented back to their team. This session uses bodyweight exercises to practice the movement and enforces it with a conditioned game. Log in to see the full video.
Staying strong and maintaining a leg-drive when in contact can help to gain territory, give teammates more time to support, and sometimes, counteract the tackle entirely. In this clip, Eastbourne College score a try against Eton as a result of powerful running and leg-drive.
In this clip, Eton College keep the ball alive through a series of offloads and long passes, deep within their 22. Eventually a gap emerges for them to exploit, finishing off the the try with a final offload.
When a solid Filton defence has denied them the outside, Oaklands College are able to break through the line thanks to good running lines from close supporting players and accurate offload passes.
Staying strong in contact and using the leg-drive can commit extra defenders. If then, you can make an offload to supporting players, overlaps should be created. It is difficult to defend a strong offloading attack, and here, Stowe School are rewarded a try for their slick hands.
Elite coaches discuss their attacking philosophies and this underpines the skills and techniques they will work on as coaches and the type of trainign sessions they will plan. As a coach how do you coach the skills that the Fijian players possess or the patience the Welsh side had to win the last 7's world cup. Does the team represent the ideas and plans of the coach?
This exercise is a great method for improving the ability of a player to get their feet quickly after a tackle or collision. The player can clear out a tackle bag on the command from the coach.
Continuity is achieved by ALL players being aware of the importance of looking after the ball. This drill allows multiple attempts to keep the ball alive followed by developing the ability to pass away from contact. The ball carrrier should focus on falling with control (knees, hips, shoulder blade) while keeping two hands on the ball at all times.
This is an effective channel drill that is a good starting point for developing support and effective offloading out of contact. The contact element should be managed by conditioning the level of the tackle.