In the first part we looked at front on tackles and part two covered side on and diagonal tackles. This leaves tackles from behind. There are five main types of tackles from behind.

Backwards – Leg wrap

This is the standard from behind tackle. This is quite a rare tackle to do really as most tackles are from a backward diagonal position over straight behind in rugby. The key to this is rapidly pulling the runners legs together, this will trip him/her up immediately and requires much less strength than trying to pull the legs together front to back. It is important that you do this on the thighs ideally as any lower you may slip down below the knees and be brushed off

Backwards – Crash Tackle

This tackle is even rarer but it is performed in identical manner to the front crash tackle. This would only really happen if you are tracking back in cover defence and the runner sidesteps into your waiting arms. A powerful tackle if you can pull this off as the ball carrier isn’t always expecting someone to come from this angle at him.

Backwards – Tap tackle

This is a difficult tackle to do but can be one of the most spectacular tackles when done right, just as shown by Mike Brown against Wales in the 6 Nations –

The key to success is to disrupt the back foot of the player so that it interrupts his timing and he falls over. This can be done by holding his foot back as it moves forward to trip him up but also by knocking the foot to the side so he loses balance. You could also bring him down by hitting the back of his heel. The most effective is the first but timing is the key on this tackle. Practising at slow speed then speeding it up will allow your players to mater this one.

Backwards – Jump on back

Another way to bring someone down is to simply jump on his back so that he topples over and allowing you to quickly get on your feet to steal the ball. The faster speed the runner is moving the more this tactic works well. Especially if you are coming in at high speed. At slower seeds and especially when a small guy jumps on a big guy this can get embarrassing as you see a player get carried down the field on the ball carriers back. This tactic can be employed when close to the goal line by twitsiting the ball carrier during the tackle so he lands up on his back. A skilful tackle to pull off.

Backwards – Hold up tackle

When close to the goal line the objective may be to hold the ball carrier up over get him down. In this situation it is important to get your arms around his upper body and pull backwards as you wait other tacklers to help you. If isolated then you will need to roll him onto his back as you engulf the ball to hold it up.

Using this information

Tackles from behind are seldom practised (like all tackles). They are the least common type of tackles in games but covering positions of wings, scrum halfs and flankers well need to use these so ideally you will have practised them at some point to allow you to improve your skills