The TAGs are difficult to grab hold of. Defenders have to get close to the ball carrier using good footwork skills and then get low to reach the TAG.
The game improves the basics of defensive organisation, since defenders have to keep a straight line and communicate with each other as they move forward.
The faster the ball carrier is moving, the harder the TAGs are to grab. Once players discover this, they will happily run forward and attack space in the defence.
TAG is excellent at developing agility and speed. The footwork used by attacking players to avoid being “tagged” develops quickly as they soon appreciate that a moving target is much harder to tackle.
As the attackers’ agility develops, so will the defenders’ as they have to keep up.
To succeed at TAG rugby, players need to attack space and not to run directly at the defenders. This reinforces the most important principle of attacking play – go forward.
The game naturally promotes going forward, whether attacking or defending. Ball carriers are encouraged to run at space. Because it is difficult to grab the TAGs there is a high success rate for ball carriers making clean breaks.
Support play is vital in TAG rugby as the ball carrier only has three seconds to pass the ball after being “tagged”. Support players must be close to the ball carrier when the TAG is made to provide effective support.
Passing is as important in TAG rugby as in any other form of the game. TAG gives you the opportunity to observe players passing under pressure but without them worrying about getting tackled.
By playing games on different-sized pitches, you can vary the level of pressure on the players and the different passes they have to use.
Thank you to Brian our regular contributor to the Royal Arsenal Tag Rugby Newsletter
LEARN TO SIDE STEP
As you approach the tackler , decide which direction you are aiming to run past them.
Shorten your stride to get your timing and balancing right. Step wide with your outside leg, placing your body weight onto that leg as if you are set to change direction that way. Some players slow down slightly to lull the defender.
Tip for this month is simple ‘Go Forward’.
When playing tag rugby always remember that the best way to play is forward! A quick sprint or run towards the try line,even if an odd time you need to play selfish.
Reversing with possession is a big mistake, the idea is to gain ground not lose it.
Once your tag is taken get back on the ball immediately. Next move get quick ball out to the rest of the team and it’s particularly good to get the ball out wide, so see if you can create some space(avoid going sideways having possession).
Keep eyes up going forward and maximize on your use of 6 tackles. Ideally use 1-3 tackles to advance forward then maybe use the quick ball for 4-6 going forward and wide.
Brian – RARC Member Since 2014
The tip for this month may seem like a small thing to practice but it’s a big deal when it comes to the game and it can make or break a side. It’s called COMMUNICATION!
You can’t just run a play or set up a defense if you are not talking to your teammates. If you are playing a kick and not talking to your team CHANCES are you may lose the ball upsetting the flow. The same goes for setting up a play.
Make sure you call for the ball beforehand and let your team know which way you are going that way you will be assured of support. Defense call the guy you are marking and tell the rest of the team to shift either left or right etc….
Brian – RARC Member Since 2014
Anticipate tackle – ready for reset
Players should be constantly scanning the opposition attackers to see where the threat is likely to come from and anticipating the likely attack, take the tackle do not run to far away from the mark. Get a quick reset to catch the other team (3 part play) and use the other 2 plays to go wide always remember to use your backs and gain momentum to make ground.
The Royal Arsenal Rugby Club practice tag twice a week.
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When you have possession of the ball always look around you while running to see where there is a gap and who is in support. Try to use your supporting players by sticking close by and not away from them. This means you have a better chance to score a try if you have support inside or outside of you. Using a dummy runner for a quick pass around the corner or a kick through, will provide further options to be successful.
When you are defending as a team there will be time that you will be facing a ‘two on one’ which means you need to defend two people at the same time by yourself.
Don’t panic, never fall back or retreat and look for help in the last minute, it’s up to you to make the best of an overwhelming situation.
Give them all the space they need and attack the player with the ball and hope they make a mistake, maybe you can get an interception if the player decides to pass the rugby ball. Most importantly always be on the front foot and again never retreat backwards.
Brian Campbell – RARC