Wednesday Sep 3, 2014 Brian O'Driscoll Masterclass - Defensive play at the breakdown

Brian O'Driscoll Masterclass - Defensive play at the breakdown
17
Comments

Rugby Tonight have come up with another top quality masterclass video as we get a chance to learn from a legend, with Brian O’Driscoll talking Austin Healey through the best way to defend the breakdown in the midfield, or indeed in any tackle situation.

It’s roughly seven minutes that are well worth watching, as the recently retired Ireland and Leinster legend uses his extensive playing experience at the highest level to go through exactly what takes place in various situations, and how to deal with it.

“It’s a matter of trying to bend your legs, use the player as leverage to try and get down into a good position, tuck the head, and wait for those impacts to come,” explains O’Driscoll.

He’s also quick to point out that referees these days aren’t too happy about players simply placing their hands on the ball to try and get the turnover. You need to actually make an effort to grab it. 

“Referees a lot of the time now aren’t happy with you just going for the ball and kind of pretending to hold it in. You have to have an effort to try and pull it away from the opposition. Once they see the attacker holding on, they’ll give you a penalty,” he added.

When watching, you get the feeling that you could listen to him for hours and never get bored, as with all rugby legends. This is definitely one to share with your friends, kids and coaches.

17 Comments

  •  igotsmashedbylomu
    igotsmashedbylomu

    This man is a legend in the game.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    XD O'Gara as a tackle coach... poor ROG..

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Sky is a joke. I've been house sitting round a friends before and literally I just sit there clicking 1 channel to another, groaning that out of 7000909023434 channels there is still 'nothing on'...

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    Call me a weirdo, but I still do the old exaggerated "look ref, no hands!" mime after a tackle, just to be on the safe side. It does seem to be a consistent referee-pleaser - just makes his life that little bit easier and helps form the impression in his mind that you're the one playing by the rules. (Or maybe he just thinks to himself "yes mate, I can see you've released him, just get on with it you bellend"). A more useful benefit though is I find it helps you set yourself better to either snaffle the ball or hit the ensuing ruck. I go through a bit of a drill: tackle - up- set - smash. I find it helps anyway, just a personal thing I suppose.

    Reply
  •  10stonenumber10
    10stonenumber10

    A few years ago you had to make such a show of releasing the player, you would see tacklers clapping their hands or throwing them in the air (like they just don't care) before contesting the ball to show that they gave the munched player every opportunity to release it. You sometimes see that kind of thing in 7s when top tier teams play the non rugby countries... big hit, player gets to his feet as the tackled one releases, and steps neatly over to run away with it... but as Canadian Content said, in 15s at the top, you pause, you lose. There isn't the space, and the game is too fast. Pausing also gives the player the chance to "rifle" it, as our coach called it. Roll yourself as parallel to the sideline as you can, and reach for your own try line. It changes the distance the tackler has to reach from 2ft to 5 or more. You might get trampled, but it buys enough time for the cavalry!

    Reply
  • Try that at any decent level of rugby and the Ruck will be own while you are taking your 1 second pause.

    Reply
  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    Oi, as a member of the loosie club, I take grave offence at the suggestion that digging for turn-overs is glamorous work. Unless getting kneed in the head is a new designer trend. Plus there's always some effin clown ready to take a shot at you from the side of the ruck. One piece of advice I pass on to aspiring loosies is when a tackled player is isolated and you are the first guy there, if you can, pause a fraction of a second before going in for the steal. The tackled player will often try to place the ball in that time, and that's when you get the clean turnover. If you have to wrestle the tackler for the ball before he places it, you're at the mercy of the ref. You can never be sure you'll get the penalty. You might get pinged for some made-up reason.

    Reply
  •  eddie-g
    eddie-g

    Thanks. Ps. My claim to fame is I'm the only person in the orderly queue to thank you.

    Reply
  •  upthelowend
    upthelowend

    *led... thats awkward

    Reply
  •  upthelowend
    upthelowend

    Just putting it out there guys as my claim to fame. I sent in the question that lead to this video! Please form an orderly queue to thank me...

    Reply
  •  stroudos
    stroudos

    What an excellent piece of television. To have someone who is one of the best ever exponents of a specific skill explaining and demonstrating that very skill is great. Especially with little nuggets thrown in like the McCaw thing and with Healey's story about the O'Driscoll training vest. Seriously considering getting BT Sport - if I do, they will owe Rugbydump some kind of commission because it would be on the back of this piece and the Jacque Burger one featured on here a while ago. Say what you like about Austin Healey he's good at TV presenting. Mind you, BOD is a natural as well - no surprise I suppose. By the way, nice skills from Craig Doyle at the end - love the way O'Driscoll tried to stitch him up with that shit pass and yet he was up to the challenge.

    Reply
  •  connachtman
    connachtman

    BOD settling into his new role as BT pundit, fair play to him!

    Reply
  •  10stonenumber10
    10stonenumber10

    It is like Wayne Gretzky said... "90% of hockey is mental, the other half is physical" - a tongue in cheek jibe at the head knocks and injuries throughout his career. Apparently before he had his eyes layered, he was damn near blind to faces/numbers and just used to rely on the colours, might explain why he ran at forwards the same he did backs. Apparently his dad (a doctor) said his eyesight was the reason he could see space, the peripheral was better than the direct line of sight.

    Reply
  • As a member of the fatman's club one thing is that props don't really get to see who's who in a ruck/maul we just hit anything in a jersey that's not ours and leave the targeting to the showboating loosies

    Reply
  •  wow-jiffy-lube
    wow-jiffy-lube

    I remember reading in the furore leading up to his retirement, that BOD holds the 6N record for turnovers, ahead of world class ballhogs like Martyn Williams and Neil Back. As for other backs, for the life of me, I can't think of a single one who comes close. Few have the same low centre of gravity, core strength and sheer disregard for their own safety as O'Driscoll. Add in a decade and a half of experience at the highest level and it'll be a long time until we see his like again.

    Reply
  •  10stonenumber10
    10stonenumber10

    It would be interesting to see BOD's career stats... I'm guessing he will either be top or top 3 of backs when it comes to turnovers and snaffling. I've watched him since his debut, and even when he was 'slim', he still shamed more than enough back rowers. Valid point about defenders raking the ball into the tackled player so it looks like they are holding on... and deliberately taking out McCaw. It is refreshing to see a perspective from someone other than a Leicester player or RWC2003 winner!

    Reply
  • cue the "experts" who would like to criticise BOD's assessment!

    Reply

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Brian O'Driscoll Masterclass - Defensive play at the breakdown | RugbyDump