How to Properly Perform a Tackle in Rugby

The front-on tackle has the most risk for a player to get injured and happens most frequently during a game. The defending player must deny the attacking player space and options to dominate the tackle situation – who would ever forget the Jonah Lomu versus Mike Catt situation during the 1995 World Cup in South Africa. Important points to remember during the tackle are:

Follow the attacking player – run towards his shoulder furthest from the touchline.

Stay square to the attacking player for as long as possible – deny him space.

Do not cross your feet.

Hold your face up during the tackle – do not drop your chin to avoid concussion and neck injury.

Keep your eyes open and focus on your opponent – look to where you are going to make contact with the attacking player.

Focus between the chest and hips (core) of the attacker – footwork can be deceiving.

Emphasize on your back position – this allows to get a lower, stronger and more powerful position to make the tackle.

Align your head either side of the attacker and not in front of his body do not make contact with the top of your head.

Stay on the balls of the feet to avoid being side stepped.

Follow the direction of the hit with your head.

Use shooter, faster steps as you approach the attacker – do not plant your feet.

Take the stance of a boxer, elbows low and hands up to reinforcement leverage and force of contact.

The same foot and shoulder must follow the dip and step into the tackle.

Wrap the arms around the attacker pull him and drive from your legs.

Put the whole body into the contact for greater force and power.

Maintain leg drive to allow forward momentum

The side-on tackle is safer with less confrontation- the risk of injury is less, but the same body positions and general techniques apply as mentioned above. Emphasize that the defender should never under any circumstances hit the attacker with his head – this can cause concussion and neck injury.

The smother tackle is advance tackle where the defending player is more upright in defense and attempts to put his arms around the attacker's arms and ball. This is to prevent the attacker from passing or release it to score a try. The same steps, body positions and general techniques should apply as discussed under front – on tackle.

The tackle is performed above the waist level, and below shoulder height.

The smother tackle is not recommended for and inexperienced players, as the risk of injury is higher

All tackles above the shoulder line are not allowed and be penalized accordingly. Lifting and dropping – a variation of which is the "spear tackle" are also dangerous and can cause serious injury.

Source by Johnny Pretorius

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