Defensive Touch

When to Effect a Defensive Touch

Not surprisingly, making a touch is one of the most common actions you’ll make when playing Touch. The skill is used to prevent your opposition from scoring and can be used all over the pitch. Making good touches on the opposition is crucial when defending against rucking plays and when you are defending the final two touches on your defensive line.

Key Points to Making a Defensive Touch

  • Position yourself to one side of the attacker to reduce their evasion options and almost force them to go in the direction you want them to go
  • Keep your eyes on their waist whilst they have possession
  • Accelerate fast up to them and decelerate once you are near to them
  • Lean towards them with your nearest arm flexed
  • Touch them with the minimum amount of force necessary. Avoid giving a penalty away by touch too hard
  • Make the touch in front of your attacking player, do not let them get to the side of you
  • Stay on the balls of your feet
  • If done with two arms you can gently push back off the attacking player to help you retreat your 5 metres

Common Errors When Making a Touch

  • Not positioning yourself well against your attacker
  • Looking at the ball (leaving yourself vulnerable to rather dummy passes) and no their waists
  • Making a touch with straight arms, which can transfer a large amount of force leading penalty infringements
  • Moving up too fast and getting stepped
  • Having your feet flat on the ground
  • Letting the attacking player get to the side of you


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