WRU Game Locker

WRU Game Locker

Holding the Line

Back to Defence


8 or more


Ball, Cones, Tag Belts


This modified game involves greater numbers for the attacking side. Having three defenders against them means that the defenders will need to identify the ball carrier (primary threat) and the support players each side (secondary threat). As the ball is passed by the ball carrier, the primary and secondary threats will change. The defenders must communicate and change their focus of defence. Tagged players leave the grid. Coaches should ensure quick change-overs to keep everyone involved. The greater the amount of attackers, the more difficult this is will become from a defending point of view. In this case, it would be easier to commence the activities with a small advantage to the attackers. As the defenders become aware of the change of focus with each pass, and competent at completing the tag, add additional attackers. If it becomes too difficult, decrease attackers, or add defenders to enhance nomination and communication.


Session Plan Diagram

Coaching Points

  • Defenders identify primary threat (ball carrier), and secondary threats (nearest supporting players) Defenders should keep talking to each other about the threats.
  • As the ball is moved, the threats change - ensure that defence react accordingly Some key factors to introduce over time:
  • Defending players should look to run forward to reduce time and space of the attacking side. A defensive line should be maintained, and avoid bunching of defenders next to the ball carrier. Communication amongst players will assist this process.
  • The only form of contact allowed is the removing of the TAG. Any barging, pushing, pulling jerseys and wrestling should not be encouraged or permitted.

Variation / Progression

Begin the exercise with small numbers, and more attackers than defenders. Increase the numbers of players, and/or the difference in numbers of attackers and defenders, to intensify the difficulty.

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