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Defence Principles 6 and 7

Principle Six

Regaining Possession

Principle Seven

Counter Attack:

Regaining Possession Outcome:

To regain possession of the ball from loose ball, recovering kicks and the post tackle situation.

Counter Attack Outcome:

To use the transition period between defending and attacking to go forward, penetrate and use support to continue play.

Explanation: See support player options above.

The opportunity to regain possession occurs under the following situations:

  1. Kick receipts by the sweeper.
  2. Spilt ball.
  3. Jackalling
  4. Perform a dominant tackle especially following a tackle at the level of the ball.
  5. When advantage is played following a knock-on or forward pass.

When possession is regained in close quarter play react to the play of the opposition.

If they are grouped move the ball 2-3 passes to space before going forward.

 If the defence react quickly and spread out play linear support down the channel directly ahead.

Should the receiving team kick the ball the sweepers can counter attack taking the ball directly forward. The players ahead must reload quickly to get all six players in depth behind the ball carrier and in a position to offer a passing option.

If the defence is grouped run towards them to hold them and pass away from them to where the reloading attack line should have formed across the field.

If there are no lateral options play linear and, should offloading to support not be successful, form a ruck or maul to gain ground and created time and space to go forward.


We have to be careful to ensure sevens coaching is taught in a structured way and not through anecdote and “this is the way I did it”. This is because a structured approach leaves a legacy from which the coach and the team can progress while the anecdotal approach creates dependency on the deliverer and too often relies on the players being those the deliverer is specifically talking about.

We have to make sure the coaches apply the coaching method and don’t listen to “talking heads” as this enables them to create their own path.

There are no miracle cures, the game must continue to evolve, and coaches must recognize that to duplicate what you see others doing is conceding defeat and acceptance of second best, the status quo.

More than fifteens sevens is based on outstanding physical requirements that apply to all the players. These are not as specialised as with 15-a-side teams.

For a team to optimize their performance follow the game planning model to give your team the edge as they will be playing to patterns that best suits them.