Definition of a rugby tackleThursday, March 22, 2012, 17:08
by Edric Bonello
To many people’s eyes a rugby tackle is simply a barbaric act to stop forward motion used only by the rough and tough in the manic game of rugby. Well that is only a description of what is seen and understood in a live game, through a picture or a clip, by those who do not know or understand the true basics of rugby culture. The tackle goes far beyond and has its own world of respect and culture throughout the rugby community.
It’s application starts from your mind set where the key is to believe and be confident no matter what is standing in front of you. This is the basic requirement needed to perform a good tackle and anything else you are doing in life.
It’s all about vision, technique and agility to move quickly in the required space, to put yourself in the best position to perform the tackle. This can be referred to as the preparation stage where depending on your action, you create or close a gap of space, which is what is required to land your opponent. A little too left, a little too slow, a little afraid, and you miss the tackle. At this stage the strong and persistent stand up and go through the process again to try and improve and learn from their previous mistakes. It’s all about split second decisions combined with confidence and physical application. Again this compares very well with most other things you do in life where you have the choice to try and experience anything, then depending on your performance you have the opportunity to quit or learn and try again.
The moment arrives where you need to engage in contact and it’s all very crucial yet again, your position, the speed of impact, the size of the opponent, the position on the pitch, where the ball is held by the opponent and your confidence all come into play. You could have prepped very well but one slip at this stage and it all goes wrong. Again it’s all about split second calculations which make the difference in your action but the driving force at this stage is your achievement, you are so close. There’s a saying where some tend to count their chicks before they are hatched and that is exactly what you cannot afford to do at this crucial instance.
It’s done, you managed to bring your opponent down, it feels good and you quickly flash back through the motions scanning anything you could have done better. But wait it’s no time to switch off and relax. This is just the start and you must urge to get back on your feet and try to cling on that ball before support arrives. This is another motion referred to as turn over, but we are only touching base with tackle today so back in focus, get up, set your line and move into the next tackle.
It does not end there as at the end of the match it’s required for both teams to get together socially where players exchange their experiences and respect for one another. No matter how hard you would have brought anyone down, respect is the order of the day. This is another learning curve and as such puts rugby in a world of its own, turning boys into gentlemen to become the next role models to share the sacred act.