With rugby defenses getting more aggressive and an increase in turnovers at the breakdown because of specialist fetchers becoming more prevalent in the game, it is imperative to ensure the correct technique is being used when taking the ball into contact.
When contact is inevitable a player needs to ensure that the ball is secured and try to stay on their feet for as long as possible. If the dynamic ruck becomes static they will need to efficiently present the ball for their supporting players.
Dominant Hit, Body position and compact efficient movements are key when approaching and making contact.
1. Move the ball away from contact and tightly secure under the armpit.
2. Low body position
shoulders should not drop below hip level as this will make it easier for defense to push you off your feet into the ground.
3. Power step
aggressive foot placement close to the opposition to create leverage. Right shoulder leads with right foot forward and visa versa.
4. Present the shoulder
hit the opponent with your non ball carrying arm tucked close in and the hard part of the shoulder, the tackler must feel the hit.
5. Drive spine in line
if your spine is not straight and driving through the contact you will lose all the force you have created. When you twist or drive at an angle the
tackler is not getting the full force directed at them and the contact point so they will be more effective.
6. Chin up, eyes forward
this helps keep your spine in line and also stops you from driving down into the ground. If your head is looking down you will lead the rest of your body to the ground.
7. Drive through and up
an explosive upward thrust after contact is made will push the defender into an upright position making them more vulnerable to be driven back.
8. Chop your steps and pump the legs
in contact you must continue to work and try to maintain forward momentum (dynamic ruck) while staying on your feet for as long as possible. Be aggressive!
When you become static and your support is unable to rip the ball off you then you need to hit the deck.
1. Aggressive chop
just like chopping wood you should aim to aggressively twist your torso and shoulders and in the process ‘chop’ yourself into presenting the ball back towards your support.
2. U-Shape body position
position yourself into a U on the deck with the ball closely placed to your feet. This shortens the ‘gate’ for the defenders to come through and keeps you compact so support can clean over you and secure possession.
3. Tuck your head
place your chin on your chest tucking your head away from being knocked. When you holding the ball you will be the target.
Own the ball and dominate the defender who is trying to take you down!
by Greg Commins | rugbyIQ.com Technical Zone