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What is the easiest defence system to use?

What is the easiest defence system to use? I have a team of 18 year olds who know very little about the game but are very fit and enthusiastic and I need a simple defence system to use.


The key is to get them working together and they do this by communication. There are a number of drills you can find in "Drills/Defensive Patterns" on this website. I have attached one simple drill for you to use to get them working together.

Get the players to work together to create a strong defensive unit and then set scenarios for them to defend against.

For instance, kick the ball along the pitch and then 4 attackers must run out, gather the ball and attack back towards the line from where you kicked the ball. At your call, 3 defenders have to run out and defend that line.

The trick is to shorten the time the attackers have to react.

Key points for defenders are to talk to each other - who is tackling whom and to maintain a flat line.

I hope this helps.


Flat Defence

Video / Animation
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Players line up together along the line of the 1st set of cones.

On the signal of the coach all the players advance to the 3rd set of cones (20 meters away), making sure they all keep together in a straight line.

The players then retreat 10 meters to the 2nd set of cones, making sure they stay in line.

From the 2nd set of cones the players then advance a further 20 metres to the 4th set of cones and then retreat 10 meters back, to the previous set of cones.

Coaching Points:

Make sure all players stay in a straight line together.

A good drill to help bring players up together in a solid line while defending.

Vary the drill by making all players do press up at each set of cones.

I would use a common man up system. Build your line from the inside out each phase. Use your halves as organizers. Have your players point at their man and come up and smack them. If they're doing well with that, you can have them shade in or out to direct where the ball will head. Also, don't get to caught up in systems. Make sure to focus on the ind. skills involved in defense. The most organized 15 players in the world couldn't play defense without tackling.

The easiest defence system... difficult to say because the players you have ultimately determine whether your system works or not. Generally speaking, you'd try to force the opposition out of space by putting pressure on the inside of the pass/ direction of play, but the danger of being outflanked is always there. I'd say rather focus on communication & good tackle technique with beginners/ young players and systems will come. Sounds a bit glib and basic I know!

The easiest defense system is the presure. Presure constantly over your oponent to reduce the gap of them to play the ball.

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