Video library

Defence videos

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

Defence resources

Why defences need to adjust quickly to early-phase strikes

Whatever the pattern of defence, every player needs to be on the same page in terms of their attitudes and adjustments. Or as Nick Bishop, using the recent Leicester vs Saracens Premiership, highlights teams can get repeatedly ‘stung’ from the same play.

Has New Zealand solved the puzzle of the rush defence? [part 2]

Has the the Rush defence puzzle been truly solved? Nick Bishop details the evidence from the recent RWC final.

Has New Zealand solved the puzzle of the rush defence? [part 1]

Can a Kiwi attack handle an all-out Test-level rush defence?

In Part 1 of the 2 part analysis, Nick Bishop explains how since 2017 the Rush Defence has shut down the All Blacks vaunted attack.

How to recognize opportunities to attack wide versus a ‘jockey’ defence

Using some recent examples from Super Rugby Pacific 2023 Nick Bishop explains just why the more passive forms of defence, like the Drift or Jockey, are becoming less popular and more marginal in coaching attitudes to the game.

How to cover the break on defence, and bring ‘chaos’ back to ‘structure’

How can the defence return from ‘chaos’ back to ‘structure’, and the odds shift in the defence’s favour from an attack break? Nick Bishop details in this week’s analysis.

How to ‘spy’ on the number 9 at ruck and set-piece

One of the focuses of the professional game on defence is to ‘spy’ on the opposing half-back and minimise their influence on the game. Using examples from the recent Autumn internationals, Nick Bishop details how the ‘spy’ operates.

How Red Card defence spoiled the Red Rose party at Eden Park

World Cups are won and lost on small but significant tactical nuances as England’s Red Roses experienced in the Women’s RWC final.

Targeting the key attacker in backline defence

The importance of excellent backline defence was on show in the titanic contest between England and France at the Women’s World Cup. Nick Bishop breaks down France’s defensive strategies to successfully shut down England’s outstanding centre, Emily Scarratt.

Why defence begins behind the goal-line, not in front of it

The new trial laws brought in on 1st August 2021 not only increased the effective attacking width of the field with the 50/22 kicking rule, but as Nick Bishop highlights they also extended its depth.

Why does defence look so different in the modern era?

Why is there a need to keep pace in the observation, and explanation of the game of Rugby? Many of the understandings in the game still derive from the amateur era, or the early days of professionalism. Nick Bishop uses modern defences as an example in this week’s analysis.

See all Defence resources