Tackles are a big part of the rugby, and knowing the how to perform different types of tackles is an important aspect of a player/ team’s performance. Below are two simple tackles that should be in the arsenal of every young rugby player.
SIDE TACKLE ON BOTH KNEES:
This is a basic rugby tackle, and coaches should start by telling their players to perform it slowly, progressing in speed once they are more confident. The tackler will get down on both knees and, once the oncoming player has approached him, place his head to one side of the ball carrier’s legs while making contact with his shoulder. The tackler will then wrap his arms around the thighs of the ball carrier and go to ground with him.
ONE KNEE SIDE TACKLE:
This is a progression from the Side Tackle and, as in the previous tackle, players should start off practising slowly and progressing in speed once their confidence has grown. The tackler, this time, will be on one knee and, in one movement, tackle with their shoulder while placing their cheek on the thigh of the ball carrier. The tackler will then wrap his arms around the thighs of the ball carrier and go to ground with him.
- In both tackles, the coach should watch out for tacklers who use a vice-like grip when tackling, and make sure that the tackler’s head is behind the ball carrier’s body, as this will prevent the tackler from receiving a knee to their head or face.
- If you have a tackler who is having trouble focusing on their target, stick a piece of tape in a noticeable colour on the tackler’s shoulder and another on the shorts of the ball carrier – the pressure of placing the tape onto the hitting point will help with focusing the mind of the tackler.
Tackling can be a daunting task, particularly if the opponent is larger or faster, meaning players are often understandably concerned about getting injured. Parents and coaches need to be sensitive to players’ concerns and reassure them where possible. Enabling your son to properly learn the different types and techniques of tackling can help them overcome their fears. Teach them that tackling doesn’t have to be painful and the important role good tackling plays in a rugby match.