Skills and Drills

Please refer to option ‘A’ of each drill below and their corresponding coach notes for the simplified version(s).

With grateful thanks to Paul Thomas Photography for the action shots taken during the All Blacks versus Argentina match during the 2015 World Cup.

Coach Notes

The most effective tackle in rugby is around the legs. The player is unable to run once his legs are taken out from under him. Once he is on the ground, he has to release the ball, thus creating the opportunity for turnover.

Side On Tackle

Drill 1A and B

1 PLAYER

For the drill(s) to be fluid and effective, the Tackle Tubes need to be released in a game related sequence.
The triggers for the release of the Tackle Tubes are when the tackler is back on his feet and stable.
At this point, the 2nd or 3rd Tackle Tubes are released for the next tackle to be made.
Refer to keynotes at the top of the page for the correct body position.

2 PLAYER

The triggers for the release of the Tackle Tubes are when the tackler is back on his feet and stable.
At this point, the 2nd or 3rd Tackle Tubes are released for the next tackle to be made.
Refer to keynotes at the top of the page for the correct body position.
Supporting Player(s):
Dislodged tackle: roll the ball into the tackle area in any direction so the player has to get to his feet quickly and locate the ball in order to turn the ball over. Refer to keynotes at the top of the page for the correct body position.
Going to ground: in this situation the person rolling the Tackle Tube adds the ball to the Tackle Zone, which is the white center of the Tackle Tube.
The tackler then gets onto his feet quickly to retrieve the ball from the tackle zone and pass to the supporting player(s).

Catch Up Tackle

Drill 2A and B

1 PLAYER

For the drill(s) to be fluid and effective, the Tackle Tubes need to be released in a game related sequence.
The triggers for the release of the Tackle Tubes are when the tackler is on his feet and stable.
At this point, the 2nd or 3rd Tackle Tubes are released for the next tackle to be made.
Refer to keynotes at the top of the page for the correct body position.

2 PLAYER

For the drill(s) to be fluid and effective, the Tackle Tubes need to be released in a game related sequence.
The triggers for the release of the Tackle Tubes are when the tackler is on his feet and stable.
At this point, the 2nd or 3rd Tackle Tubes are released for the next tackle to be made.
The adding of the ball to the tackle area can simulate numerous situations e.g. the ball being dislodged during the tackle or the player going to ground with the ball.

Dislodged Tackle: roll the ball into the tackle area in any direction so the player has to get to his feet quickly and locate the ball in order to turn the ball over. Refer to keynotes at the top of the page for the correct body position.
Going to ground: in this situation the person rolling the Tackle Tube adds the ball to the Tackle Zone, which is the white center of the Tackle Tube.
The tackler then gets onto his feet quickly to retrieve the ball from the tackle zone and pass to the supporting player(s).

MULTI PLAYER:
With this option, you can run a small backline to develop passing skills. the player to make the next tackle would be allocated by the coach. The ideal person for the next tackle would be the player in the halfback position. With the multi player option, the distance between each Tackle Tube needs to be larger to allow the players to pass the ball along the back line properly. When the ball gets to the last player in the backline, the next Tackle Tube is released for the following tackle to be made. Players need to realign to continue onto the next sequence in the drill.

Basic Tackle – Any Angle

Drill 3A and B

Coach 1 rolling the Tackle Tube out, with players making tackles from one of 8 starting positions at a time (shown as A to H)
Key areas for YOU (as coach) to focus on are straight back, head to the side and powerful leg position.
HEAD UP: keep them focussed on the center of the Tackle Tube.
STRAIGHT BACK: by keeping their head up and their eyes forward, maintain a straight back.
HEAD TO THE SIDE: for the rear/front on tackle, make sure the player(s) head(s) are to the side of the Tackle Tube.
HEAD BEHIND: for the side on tackle make sure the player(s) head(s) are to the rear of the Tackle Tube to avoid injury.
ARMS UP: make sure their arms are up and ready to wrap around the Tackle Tube or through the Tackle Zone, creating the Ring of Steel.
ONTO THEIR FEET: get the player(s) to make the tackle and get on their feet as quickly as possible.
This is to develop the skill of turning the ball over.
Refer to keynotes for the correct body position.

Basic Tackle (2 Groups)

Drill 4

Players start at 2 opposites of the 8 starting positions, ready to tackle (e.g. B and F)
Coach 1 rolling the Tackle Tube out for one player to tackle. Coach 2 recovers the Tackle Tube and rolls out for the player from the opposite starting position to do the same. Refer to keynotes for the correct body position.
This can be turned into a reaction drill by a coach calling out the starting positions from which the tackle takes place.
Key areas for YOU (as coach) to focus on are straight back, head to the side and powerful leg position.
HEAD UP: keep them focussed on the center of the Tackle Tube.
STRAIGHT BACK: by keeping their head up and their eyes forward, maintain a straight back.
HEAD TO THE SIDE: for the rear/front on tackle, make sure the player(s) head(s) are to the side of the Tackle Tube.
HEAD BEHIND: for the side on tackle make sure the player(s) head(s) are to the rear of the Tackle Tube to avoid injury.
ARMS UP: make sure their arms are up and ready to wrap around the Tackle Tube or through the Tackle Zone, creating the Ring of Steel.
ONTO THEIR FEET: get the player(s) to make the tackle and get on their feet as quickly as possible.
This is to develop the skill of turning the ball over.
Refer to keynotes for the correct body position.

Basic Tackle – With Ball

Basic Tackle Support Play

Drill 6

Coach 1 rolling the Tackle Tube out for one player to tackle, with players making tackles from only one of the 8 starting positions at a time (shown as A to H).

Key areas for YOU (as coach) to focus on are the same as for Drill 3.
Make it clear to all players, the direction which they are playing.

Coach 2 adds a ball to simulate numerous situations e.g. the ball being dislodged during a tackle or the player going to ground with the ball.

  • Dislodged tackle: roll the ball into the tackle area in any direction so the player has to get to his feet quickly and locate the ball in order to turn the ball over.
  • Going to ground: in this situation the person adds the ball to the tackle zone, which is the white centre of the Tackle Tube. The tackler then gets to his feet quickly to retrieve the ball from the tackle zone and pass to the supporting player(s).

The tackler retrieves the ball or turns the ball over, then passes to one or more supporting players. Supporting players can come from any angle the coach wishes to develop.

Moving Reaction Tackle

Drills 7, 8 and 9

Coach 1 rolling the Tackle Tube out in a direction he chooses, with players having to react and make tackles from various directions. The continuation is the adding of a ball and support players.

Key areas for YOU (as coach) to focus on are the same as for Drill 3.
Make it clear to all players, the direction which they are playing.

Coach 1 adds a ball to simulate numerous situations e.g. the ball being dislodged during a tackle or the player going to ground with the ball.

  • Dislodged tackle: roll the ball into the tackle area in any direction so the player has to get to his feet quickly and locate the ball in order to turn the ball over.
  • Going to ground: in this situation the person adds the ball to the tackle zone, which is the white centre of the Tackle Tube. The tackler then gets to his feet quickly to retrieve the ball from the tackle zone and pass to the supporting player(s).

Drill 8: The tackler retrieves the ball or turns the ball over.

Drill 9: Then passes to one or more supporting players. Supporting players can come from any angle the coach wishes to develop.
Option 1: the tackler goes left or right and the support players on the left or right join play… e.g. tackle tube tolled to the left, left players support.
Option 2: the coach calls the supporting players after the tackle is made…e.g. green or blue team.

Reaction Tackle – Any Angle

Multi Player Tackles

Drill 10

The Tackle Tubes are lined up in front of the tackler and the coach positions himself in a simulated ruck area.
When the coach touches the ball, this triggers the release of the Tackle Tube and the forward movement of the defensive line.
The coach can start the players in set positions A, B or C to simulate different tackle techniques or situations. OR he can pre-set the players or get them to react to his command (either starting with the coach or in the positions indicated.)

Drill 11

The Tackle Tubes are lined up beside or behind the tackler and the coach positions himself in a simulated ruck area.
When the coach touches the ball, this triggers the release of the Tackle Tube and the forward movement of the defensive line.
The coach can start the players in set positions A, B or C to simulate different tackle techniques or situations. OR he can pre-set the players or get them to react to his command (either starting with the coach or in the positions indicated.)

Through The Gate/h2>

Drill 12

The Tackle Tubes are lined up opposite each other and rolled toward one another at the same time. The tacklers tackle from inside to out. Once the tackle is made, the players get back up on their feet and enter through the gate (between the 2 tackle tubes) and clear the hit shield held by the coach. This will get the players into the habit of making a tackle and entering through the gate to clear rucks.