Winning the Tackle - The area of the tackle is becoming increasingly contested in the game of rugby league, and more and more teams are looking to become more competitive and achieve more play the ball wins. It is fast becoming one of the vital statistics in assessing the performance of a team post-match.
Achieving dominance in the tackle is as important on the attack as it is in defence, and it is crucial that your players know how to successfully contest this region of the game.
The basic goal in contesting the tackle on the offense is for the player to square himself against the defensive line on elbows and knees,
letting him play the ball before the defence gets time to react, thus offering chances to open it up.
Unsurprisingly however, achieving this successfully requires a whole combination of skills, including speed, careful footwork, timing and good hands. Choosing to run the right line can also vastly increase a players chance of success at the tackle, as meeting the defensive line at right angles greatly reduces the risk of gang tackles and being slowed down in his attack. As a team, there are many things other players can do to avoid the defence getting the edge on the tackle.
For example, having enough players coming in for support can suck players away from the tackle, thus also reducing the risk of a gang tackle.
It is also important for your players to consider their field position as to how defensively they should play. In your own red zone, it is important to give no room for the opposing team to make multiple tackles or slow down runners hitting the line at an angle, in order to free you up for a kick.
Conversely, in the green zone, good performances on the tackle can be open up a defensive line and give you space to make a successful attack in.
In order to this successfully, speed is a useful attribute for your forwards, but is no substitute for strength and general strong ball carrying skills.
A good sense of balance can be the difference between success and failure in the tackle through good body positioning on the ground. Intelligence in line running is naturally vital as your forwards attempt to create an imbalance among the opposing team's defenders.
Again the clever footwork comes back in here - while running a line is important to open up the defence, remember that the tackle should be made square on for best results. This is much more likely to yield dividends than trying to go out and around the defenders, and is a much more intelligent way of running attacking lines that you should try and pass on to your forwards........