Defence articles

The best defence wins matches

Develop defensive skills and tactics from set piece through to general play for all levels of the game from some of the world's best defensive coaches including Sir Graham Henry, Ben Herring, Brendan Ratcliffe, Rodny So'ioalo and many others


Understand how to create a successful defence system or individual player defence roles in different situations.

Plus we have categorised them by playing level to make it easier for you to find:

  • Y – youth
  • HS – high school
  • A – adult
  • All – suitable for all levels

Analizando la defensa “Rush”

Uno de los problemas mas dificiles en el Rugby moderno es la defensa Rush o Rush defence.
El analista de video Nick Bishop analiza como el ataque con un wing en un extremo puede ser exitoso.

What is the best defence at lineouts?

There are always plenty of ongoing debates on lineout defence. Analyst Nick Bishop considers the rationale for each defence pattern option.

How to deal with the rush hour in the red zone

It is no coincidence that the recent upswing in France’s international fortunes have coincided with Edwards’ arrival as their ‘minister of defence’. Analyst Nick Bishop details everything you need to know about the immediate impact of ‘the Shaun Edwards effect’.

How to build your D by loading the halfback

Nick Bishop illustrates how the halfback is beginning to accrue ever greater importance as a defender folding to cover behind a rushing defensive line.

How to defend the infield kicking game

Analyst Nick Bishop follows on from his emphasis on keeping the ball on the field of play rather than kicking it over the touch-line, while examining techniques used to either win the ball back in the air, or defend it.

Why defence won South Africa the World Cup

Ultimately it was defence which proved to be South Africa’s trump card for a third time at the 2019 RWC. Analyst Nick Bishop details the nuances of South Africa’s Rush defence that proved so effective

England vs. New Zealand – what a difference a week makes!

Only seven short days separated the All Blacks’ attacking success against a rush defence versus Ireland and their failure against England’s version. Analyst Nick Bishop explains how the Speed and accuracy of the analytical process helped England learn and adjust their defence to blunt the All Black’s attack.

How to set up your short-side defence – the All Black way

Defence of the short-side demands a keen sense of anticipation and vocal communication skills in the defenders allotted to the task.
Analyst Nick Bishop explains why and who is key in his latest article.

Why defence does not begin or end with a line-break

One of the main measures of the effectiveness of your defence, was simply to count the number of times the opposition broke your line when they had the ball in hand.

Although that remains a useful statistic, it is no longer the be-all and end-all of defensive measurement. What happens after a line break has been made is equally important as Analyst Nick Bishop details in his latest article.

How to play the ‘libero’ like Faf de Klerk

The ‘libero’ is an evocative term in the Soccer vocabulary. It describes the free role played from a defensive position occupied by outstanding players like Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer, Ronald Koeman from the Netherlands, and Gaetano Scirea and Franco Baresi of Italy. Eventually the libero died out of the professional arm of the game with the demise of man-marking. However as Analyst Nick Bishop illustrates in the use of the scrum-half as the free man on defence have occurred recently in rugby through players like South African Faf de Klerk.