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Running with the ball



Fast feet and good timing are essential for the perfect swerve

The swerve is a great way of beating a defender who is close to making a tackle. It is not as extreme as the sidestep, but it is just as effective.

Fast footwork and perfect timing are the key skills to pull off the swerve.

It is very simple to learn and, done in the right situations, can open massive gaps in the opposition's defence.

This is a skill all wingers should learn - but that doesn't mean only the wide players can it.

STEP ONE

The swerve - step one

Run towards the defender with the ball held firmly in two hands and look as though you are going to run straight into the defender.

This way they will start to commit to the tackle.

Holding the ball in both hands also means the defender does not know which way you are going to move.

STEP TWO

The swerve - step two

Start to change your line of running, arcing away from the tackler into the outside space.

STEP THREE

The swerve - step four

Hold the ball on the opposite side to the tackler and sway your hips to that side.

Use the edges of your feet to lean away from the tackler towards the space you want to attack.

This makes it even more difficult for the defender to grab hold of the ball.

Keep watching the defender as you are doing all this.

STEP FOUR

The swerve - step four

Sprint as fast as you can to make most of your off-balance opponent.

Remember to look around for supporting team-mates in a better position than you.



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