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Defence, who must tackle a player cutting in?

Hi. Please let me have your input. 15-a-side Boys. Whose responsibility is it to tackle a player that cuts into the backline? Lets say the attacking team's FB cuts in between the C's , should my inside C then go for the tackle? We have sweepers (usually the SH and no 8) to cover breaks.

Hi Johan,

Great question! If the opposition has managed to break through your defensive line and it is a scramble (messy) defence ideally one of your sweepers should be able to cover that tackle whether it is the SH, FB or No.8. However, if the opposition has broken through a solid defensive line (flat) it is down to the inside C to cover that tackle then if they miss the sweepers will be in place to cover.

Hope this helps!

Hi Johan,

I think the key thing is for the whole defensive line to defend with their heads up, not fixating on the ball but on what players are in front of them and what lines they are running. Off a scrum or lineout, the number 9 or a few forwards should be working across so there shouldn't be too much space for them to cut back into the defensive line. But as Tom says, you would probably rather your inside centre covering that option, because if they still have the option to go wide or recycle the ball quickly you don't want your outside centre to have been drawn into making that tackle.

Cheers,

Max

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