How to Stop the ‘Pick and Go’ in a Rugby Game

Rugby is a great game to play at so many levels. Unlike some other sports, players of all sizes and abilities can play, from small, speedy athletes for running to tall, bulkier players who are great at blocking or for in the scrum. Each player has his or her own role on the pitch to aid his fellow teammates as they aim for a win. You’ll pick up many techniques and tactics, with one of the more intriguing being how to deal with the pick and go.

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What is the Pick and Go in Rugby?

Pick and go is when you pick up the ball from the base of a ruck or scrum and pass or drive it into the defensive line around the ruck. It’s a good technique to learn, as you can score many tries from pick and goes because the opposition defence often have trouble dealing with them. It works well from a slow ruck or, conversely, a quick ruck where the defence is already going backwards.

How Does it Work?

It works by putting defenders on the back foot. Also, if a successful pick and go is followed by another, it can help you to drive even further forward because defenders are struggling to get back into their position.

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When Does it Work Well?

You will need to train your eight to be quick at the back of a scrum. It is a move which needs to be practised during training sessions so that each player knows what is expected and how to react. You can either do this on the training field or by watching a rugby drill video such as those found at

How do You Stop it?

Good ways to combat a pick and go are by reading the game well. If you think your rivals are going to try it, get tight to the scrum or ruck to make sure there are no gaps to sneak into. Also, defenders need to get under the attackers so they cannot gain attacking space. Make sure the player who is the best at challenges is on hand to try to win control with a tough challenge. If all else fails, try to get control of the ball back as quickly as you can through interceptions or forcing a knock-on.