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Getting a straight defensive line and speed

Hi. I coach a B level under 12 team at school with very mixed abilities. I cant get my boys to get up in a defensive line together or even come up in defense. Any drill very much appreciated.

Hi James,

Getting your players to stay in a good defensive line is all about game awareness and mentality.

To start with, use an unopposed drill to get the players used to being in a defensive line. Start by getting into groups of 4 or 5 and lay out the rows of cones in the area in front of them (make sure the groups of cones are the same colours e.g. 5 red cones, 5 yellow cones etc.).

The coach then will call a colour and the defensive line must quickly get to the row and lay on the floor into a press-up position. The focus should not necessarily be speed, but to stay in a straight defensive line. 

Once in position, they should bounce back up and return to the start where another colour is called. The whole time, the coach should reinforce the idea that they're staying in formation.

To progress this on, add in this Defensive Touch drill. The emphasis is still on keeping a good defensive line, however is in a more match-specific situation. When an attacker is touch-tackled, the defensive team must reposition and drop to press-up position again before making the next tackle.

This works on their speed and their ability to stay together as a group.

Try it for yourself and see how you go!

Defensive Touch

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Description:
  • 2 Teams.
  • Half Pitch.

Touch Game with conditions; 

Attacker once touched must go down, bounce back up and drive into defender, then perform a long place. 

While all defenders retreat 3m and hit the floor and bounce back up again before continuing play. 


Coaching Points:
  • Conditioning.
  • Attacker must do a long place or it is a turn over. 
  • Focus on the Bounce - how quickly players get back to their feet.
  • Discipline - to retreat 3m. 
  • Attackers - Exploiting space.

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  • search our library of 1100+ rugby drills
  • create your own professional coaching plans
  • or access our tried and tested plans