T Nation

Rugby Tips

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Seeing as I don’t know how good your tackling is or how your coach teaches tackling, therefore I’ll choose to adress the issues most people I’ve seen, usually have with tackling.

On my team tackling is a major problem. Mostly due to the mental aspect, people get “scared” when not having full visibility and it feels like a vulnurable position to bring ones torso down even though it’s a much better position. Most guys have a tendency to stay upright and just kindda run into the opponent which help fuck-all. Learn tp bring your torso down and always hit with your shoulder in the opponents stomach, hips or legs, and for gods sake wrap your arms around.

Try to engage the opponent in the tackle. Of course there will be situations where it’s beneificial, from a tactical standpoint, as to not create overlaps that you wait for the opponent, but you will naturally put more force into the tackle if you are running into the opponent and not just standing and waiting.

You need to have a certain level of awareness though. If a 120kg guys has his head down and is charging at you, trying to wrap at the legs will nor work as well as just pulling him down and using his own momentum.

All of this is really basic but it’s where most people tend to fail.

If this is your 2nd year playing you probably know this. But I think its important.

Learn to use the big guys momentum. I used to be the biggest guy on the field a lot of the time and would be wrecked after a few tackles because I’d use my size and not technique to take guys down.

I agree about the momentum for the really big guys if you are 1 on 1 with them and they have got up a bit of speed. For most tackles try and remember to drive with your legs, makes it much less likely that you will be knocked over and if everything goes perfectly it can put the other team on the back foot and give a chance for a turnover.

Also as a flanker if you can learn to cheat and get away with it you will become a very useful player

If you aren’t getting warned for being offsides and unbinding from the scrum early, you are not trying hard enough. As a flanker, you should always be pushing the limits. Make the sir do some work.

I’ve been taught that if defending at the side of a ruck, always have your inside foot forward as your first movement is slightly away from the ruck and closer to the 10, suppose its pretty simple and easy to implement, and you must always get your head lower than the opposition at a ruck, and drive upwards. Not sure how much that helps, but to echo above, cheat like mad and get away with it.

Haha yeah, as a flanker I cheat like mad (at the scrum, I usuall just kind of stoop over with my hand grabbing the lock) and the ref never calls it. I pride myself on (so far) never letting an 8 man get past. One thing though, I’m a smaller guy, as I’ve noticed with most flankers, but coach says I should be getting to the breakdown first, and thus be rucking. Probelm is,when I ruck, I get blown away by most of the other bigger guys. Any tips?

Are you an open or blindside?

No tips from me but flanker is a fun position to play

[quote]Oxen wrote:
Openside[/quote]

So, theres the obvious in that case. You need to be quick to break from scrums. The 10 should be your target when breaking from defensive scrums and it’s your role to stop him, or break up their attacking line. You should also have an eye on the 9. I would aim to get into the 9/10 channel as you might have a chance of tackling the scrum half, but really you are probably going to make more tackles on the 10.

When attacking in open play I would loop behind the backs and try and get on the outside of the 13, but with a bit of depth. That way if the ball is passed down the line you are creating more targets for the defence which is likely to be stretched, and you also give your centres and wings more options (how many times do you see the ball go from the 13 to the winger, the tacklers commit themselves and then the wing plays a little inside ball to the flanker in support?). Obviously though, this is highly dependent on field position, and the type of rugby you are playing. If you are just hitting it up then theres little point you being out near the wing!

Don’t underestimate your role in the scrum either. Many flankers barely have a bind these days, but you can definitely add to the stability. And on attacking scrums try and disrupt the opposition 9.

I could go on forever, but i’m sure there will be lots of other contributions.

The best advice I can give you though is enjoy it! Rugby is a great sport to play, and openside is a great position to play in.

Haha no please, do go on. I love the sport and I’m hungry for all the information you guys have. Thanks for all the advice so far!

Biggest tip…have insurance

Funny/Bizzare story I have is that the first rugby game I ever attended, college club teams, a kid from the team I was cheering for scored his first try and after the game had to strip naked and make one lap around the field. He ended up getting arrested and cited and is now a registered sex offender for life. Pretty shitty outcome, but funny as hell to watch.

[quote]SKWATKING wrote:
Biggest tip…have insurance

Funny/Bizzare story I have is that the first rugby game I ever attended, college club teams, a kid from the team I was cheering for scored his first try and after the game had to strip naked and make one lap around the field. He ended up getting arrested and cited and is now a registered sex offender for life. Pretty shitty outcome, but funny as hell to watch. [/quote]

LOL wtf??!!

Hell yeah, being a flanker is awesome. I agree about hassling the opposite SH. I generaly attempt to be a dick to the opposite half backs as much as I can cos it’s fun and it’s surprisingly easy to rattle many 10’s to the point where they start screaming at their teammates

Pretty basic stuff for a flanker I know but it’s hella fun. When I first started playing as a forward I asked for some advice as a back row member and one of the older guys just told me “Follow the ball and tackle everything”. Surprisingly good advice.

My funny story is kinda wierd. I only went back to rugby last January after an absense of a few years and I had never played as a forward before. Well one day we arrived at an opposition club for a game and we were just taking to the pitch for the game(well, I was keeping the bench warm) when the other team announced that they actually didnt have enough players to field a team. Well I was chosen as one of the folk to go and play with the opposition for a friendly game. So my first rugby game was for the opposition club. Pretty strange. And they played me at 8 of all positions

Ive played openside flanker at representative level.

Not much else to offer that hasnt already been said, except keep your legs as wide apart as possible when trying to steal a ball at a ruck, with and a powerful bend in your legs. (like a 1/4 squat)

Look at peoples hips when you’re tackling them, dont look at anything else. As Shakira once said, hips dont lie. They stay fixed. Very hard for someone to step you if you’re focusing on their hips.

As someone else said earlier, leg drive is everything, but know when you’re beaten power wise. Then go for ankles, just nullify as quickly as possible. But that comes with game understanding and such…

Oh and prepared to be knocked out a few times from being kicked in the face!

DW, you dont feel it whilst its happening… you just feel like an animal :wink:

Rugggby, I always go for ankles or knees during rucks, but apparantly that’s considered bad sportsmanship?
Jereth: hahahah yeah it’s real fun being mouthy, but if my team loses than I look like a real dummy :confused:

I played 6 (blind side flanker) for a few years before I moved to the front row. The main thing my coach drilled into us (forwards in general not just flankers) was SUPPORT SUPPORT SUPPORT. Get to the breakdown. If you’re having problems getting blown out in a ruck, find someone you can bind with and ruck over that way. If you’re alone (which you really shouldn’t be, get as low as you can while keeping your feet. Don’t forget to keep that last foot OVER the ball to give your scrum half some time.

When I was at 6, I was pretty much the most “disposable” player in the pack, so I ended up doing a lot of the “enforcer” type duties (Only in retaliation - sometimes it’s necessary to sink to another person’s level) and got sin-binned quite a bit.

One of my funny stories occurred in Atlanta, GA. We had finished the matches for the day and were out tearing it up at the local bars. I was doing a flaming land shark (I was nekkid, carried on the shoulders of six teammates with a flaming piece of cardboard wedged between my ass cheeks while chanting the “Jaws” theme music). Well the bouncers finally had enough and grew some balls and kicked us all out. The problem was, I couldn’t find my clothes… So I ended up “wearing” an old box of a case of beer that I found in the ally behind the bar so that I could get back to the bus where my kit bag was - at least I had a pair of dirty shorts! Good times!

I MISS that shit!

[quote]Ravenous_ wrote:
Rugggby, I always go for ankles or knees during rucks, but apparantly that’s considered bad sportsmanship?
Jereth: hahahah yeah it’s real fun being mouthy, but if my team loses than I look like a real dummy :/[/quote]

Knees or ankles during rucks? I dont see how you can go for someones ankles during a ruck? Yeah its right to go low to drive them off, its impossible otherwise, but the way forward is grabbing one leg and lifting it up behind the knee. I dont know what you mean by sportmanship

I loved playing flanker. All the running of the backs and the pushing and shoving of the forwards. Used to play 6 at district level, which admittedly isn’t saying much. I know what you mean about getting to the rucks and getting pushed back. My advice would be to be to really drive with your legs - a lot of people go too upright and make it all upper body but if you get decent leg drive you can always surprise them. And yeah x2 on being offside often in scrums