A clever and competitive practise using 5 players that involves passing, tackling and then making the crucial decision of what to do at the breakdown. This can be done from Under 12's upwards
Advanced clearing exercises for senior players. The support player makes a decision on how to clear out the ruck based on the position of the opposition.
Clearing the tackle area with pace relies on committed support. Clearance rucking is a dynamic method of restarting the attack if the defence has managed to create a breakdown.
Training through traditional drills does not develop game understanding and players often become robotic in their behaviour
Conditioned games promote game understanding and encourage players to recognise the needs at any given situation
The drill should be used only to refine technique and the danger is to develop players that act without game understanding
There are many versions of ruck touch with the support players needing to recognise the needs of the tackled player.
The defence should be conditioned to provide increasing pressure to the tackle area. This will develop the situation recognision of the attacking players who must play accordingly. Robotics in rucking regardles of the situation should be discouraged and the option of picking upthe ball and going forward should be an option
To put the passing and support drills into practice, end with a game of 5 v 5 touch. Few players on each team will mean more time with the ball for each.
Notice how these players do not naturally set up rucks. Both teams try to keep the ball away from breakdown situations.
What would these games look like if the coaches stepped in and insisted on rucking?
7. 5 Pass Game
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.
With the maul, the gain line is fluid and the defence can be forced onto the back foot
With the ruck, the gain line is static and the defence are often set and on the front foot