The tackle is where most of the injuries in rugby occur.
THE KEY FACTORS IN THE TACKLE
- Sight target.
- Move forward into the tackle.
- Move slightly inside the ball-carrier (inside shoulder).
- Face up!
- Keep feet alive and position lead foot close to ball-carrier.
- Drive with the legs to make fi rm contact with the shoulder and with the head to the side.
- Punch arms forward and wrap around the ball-carrier.
- Continue power drive through to complete the tackle.
- Regain feet and recover ball.
- Smother tackles are not recommended for younger or less experienced players.
- Build your players skills progressively – players should not attempt the smother tackle unless they have mastered the basic tackle technique.
- The same steps apply as for any tackle (as outlined previously) except that contact is made between the waist and chest.
- The arms should be wrapped around the ball carrier’s arms preventing the release of the ball.
TAKING THE BALL INTO CONTACT
The increases in injuries in the tackle are not just restricted to the tackler. Coaches should ensure that all players are aware of the correct technique for taking the ball into contact.
- Focus on contact zone.
- Face up.
- Eyes open.
- Ball in two hands.
- Low body position.
- Body before ball.
- Small steps on approach.
- Wide ‘power’ step into contact.
- Plant front foot close to defender’s feet.
- Contact side on with hard parts of body: e.g. shoulder, hips.
- Maintain low stable base, chin off chest, eyes open.
- Transfer ball at appropriate time.