Running in defence

The supporting player should:
  • observe the attack in front of them and move into a position to defend space
  • identify how the attack is set up:
    • where there are more attackers than defenders
    • where there are potential mismatches, e.g. a centre versus a prop
    • attack formation and alignment – are they flat, deep, narrow or wide?
  • keep eyes on opposition to react to changes
  • communicate attacking set up and gaps/mismatches/alignment to team mates
  • reorganise defensive formation quickly to reduce the ball carrier’s options:
    • match up width of defence with width of attack
    • move slower defenders towards the contact point
    • minimise mismatches
  • when ready move forward to stop the attack, make an effective tackle and attempt to win the ball back