Winning stoppages and getting the ball clear from them is a great start to winning football games. It starts with the player rucking and winning hit outs to put the ball to his team-mates advantage.

When rucking:

  • Jump off one leg and turn body to act as protection
  • Know where opposition player is
  • Focus on the ball
  • Once you get back on the ground be ready to impact the play

If tapping/palming the ball:

  •  Know where your team mates are going to be (not necessarily where they are to start with)
  • Bring it down with a controlled palm
  • Focus on the ball!

If punching:

  • Punch the ball to teammates advantage towards the goals.
  • Make sure you punch through the ball and make quality contact

Body Position

  • It is important to work on getting first contact of the ball so how your body is positioned relative to your opponent (especially rucking from boundary throw ins and round the ground stoppages)
  • Getting position in front is important
  • Get into position early and make sure you know where your opponent is (keep contact with them)

Activities: Ruckwork

In Pairs

Have a partner throw the ball up and practice jumping off one hit and tapping/punching the ball. Use two hands to start with and then move to one hand.

Extension – practice jumping off your non-dominant foot and using your non-dominant hand.

In Small groups

  • 2 Ruckman
  • 1 Player acting as the umpire
  • 2 Players to act as teammates for each ruckman

Each ruckman chats to their teammate before the ruck and works out where they will receive the ball. Use the clock-face  (i.e. 12 o clock is directly in front, 6 o’clock is directly behind etc) as the direction you are hitting. The Umpire throws the ball up and the ruckman compete to get it to their teammate.

Extension – Add more onballers/defenders to simulate game situation.