Combination of Strategy and Philosophy
The development of philosophy / strategy around defence can arm his team with the ability to regain possession for the purpose of scoring. I believe that “defend to attack” is one of the simplest yet clearest philosophies there is.
We see coaches implementing different styles of defence such as rush, hover, up and out and Jam (Outside in) Then if we look more in depth some coaches implement strategy in relation to the area of the park play enters, for example –
- Inside 15m lines – tackler only/tackler+1
- Outside 15m Lines – Flood the tackle contest for turnover ball.
The benefit of tackler/tackler+1 only inside 15m lines is that is easier to maintain integrity within the defensive line and create a wall in front of the attack that forces the attack to work harder to win the gain line. Ultimately they must go through or around that wall. Opportunities to go through are restricted and therefore attacking options are limited. Restrict an attacks time and space and you will cause them problems.
Outside the 15m lines we see coaches who like to target turnover ball therefore they look to commit more numbers to the tackle contest with the aim of “flooding” out numbering the opposition, turning the ball over and quickly transitioning into attack. The theory is that if an outside back attacks outside the 15m line and gets tackled by an outside back with the support of a loose forward in defence there is a high % chance that will create turnover ball.
The key to good defence is clearly defined and understood roles and responsibilities within the system. If players know their role and trust that their team mates know and will carry out their role effectively there is less likelihood of defence faltering.
Pro-Performance Rugby aims to give an insight into the systems that are working at club, provincial and Super Rugby levels currently but more importantly we will look in detail at how these systems are developed and implemented.