Caterpillar

BikingBud


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Amongst many issues with the ruck currently, clearly the growth of the caterpillar is one area that could be reviewed and managed differntly.

Should a ball being fed back in the caterpillar be considered out of the ruck and in the open?

At times we see 3 or even 4 players extending the "ruck" clearly there is no real bind and the ball is manipulated into a to position even handled with impunity. If we wish to see a closer game with fairer competition for the ball then this practice should be refereed differently. Thoughts?
 

Decorily

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Amongst many issues with the ruck currently, clearly the growth of the caterpillar is one area that could be reviewed and managed differntly.

Should a ball being fed back in the caterpillar be considered out of the ruck and in the open?

At times we see 3 or even 4 players extending the "ruck" clearly there is no real bind and the ball is manipulated into a to position even handled with impunity. If we wish to see a closer game with fairer competition for the ball then this practice should be refereed differently. Thoughts?

Like it or not it is a ruck....or at least closer to a ruck than a lot of what passes as a ruck these days! !
Are there technically illegal actions occurring....probably. But the same applies as any other aspect of the game....we need to facilitate the 'getting on with it ' otherwise there would be no game!
My opinion....I'm certain others will disagree!
 

Zebra1922


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I’m not sure how you can change the laws to stop this but it would help if redress enforced the binding law. Hand on is not bound, Immediately call the ball out.

if nothing else it will slow players up leaving the caterpillar.

Change the use it to 2 or 3 seconds would also help.
 

Rich_NL

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In some cases there's the question of whether this is also valid for a tackle-with-offside-lines - it's a blind spot in the laws at the moment, but moving the ball away from the tackle area should mean open play again.
 

crossref


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I’m not sure how you can change the laws to stop this but it would help if redress enforced the binding law. Hand on is not bound, Immediately call the ball out.

if nothing else it will slow players up leaving the caterpillar.

Change the use it to 2 or 3 seconds would also help.

the ref could declare the ruck as 'won' and from then no new player could join the ruck, no player could leave the ruck, and the winning team have [3] seconds to use it
 

Camquin

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In almost all cases the 9 is offside while positioning the ball.
Mind you most of the players in the ruck will be off their feet.
 

BikingBud


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I am mixed in my thoughts as the defending team you want to get the ball as far away from people like Itoje, who will always be aggressive in charging kicks down, as you can. But for the game to be competitive you have to give them a chance. One of the biggest issues currently is the lack of policing at the back of the ruck so I would like to see back foot, as opposed to mid ruck, enforced much more stringently for the tacklers. Then to ensure the game is swifter just apply the laws as currently written, outlaw caterpillars as not part of the ruck and call the ball out immediately the scrum half has the ball available thereby ensuring the scrum half gets on with it.

I also think the angle of people joining rucks is extreme, you just see the way people come flying out and it's not N/S, these hits are not well policed and the same with staying upright, supporting own weight and jackling.

Recent incidents, red cards, and injuries, Willis, would suggest it is time to change something if only the attitude.
 

Dickie E


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we have just received our Game Management Guidelines for 2021.

Where a caterpillar is being created (our document calls it a "train") the instruction to us is that the 'use it' call (& commencement of 5 second countdown) should be made once the ball is clearly won and not once it is at the back of the caterpillar. So, upside is that you are getting the ball away from Itoje; downside is you are consuming your 5 seconds.
 

Jz558


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I agree with Decorily, the caterpillar is, at least more akin to a ruck than some other stuff that goes on. However the perceived problem could be solved by using existing law. I dont understand why we allow the scrum half to move forward of the back foot of the last person in the ruck and dribble the ball through the caterpillar. If a caterpillar is formed (and legally bound), it constitutes part of the ruck, in which case they must ruck the ball to the rear of the formation with their feet before it can be played by the scrum half. The current situation seems to be another area where professional referees have had to be given guidance by World Rugby to solve a problem that was made by encouraging the same referees to ignore primary laws.
 

Balones

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It has been clear to me for some time that players like Itoje have been literally overstepping the mark at rucks when a S/H has been trying to kick. However, I believe that it has been let go because on the vast majority of times the ball has got away so play has been allowed to continue. Recently Itoje in particular has been pushing his luck at the back foot of the ruck and in the last couple of internationals has proved to be successful at charging down the S/H kick. This has led to a greater focus in what has been happening by coaches and have discussed the area with referees and Unions etc. The result was that, especially in last weekend’s WvE match the referee was clearly paying more attention to the back foot offside line than he did in the previous E match that he officiated in. By spending extra time on monitoring the back foot offside line he thereby allowed more time for a ‘train’ to form.
 

Camquin

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Do we ever see refs turning the ball over after calling use it?
My perception is that we did for about a season, but since then we haven't. But I admit that is just perception and I could be wrong.

On the other hand, we are seeing the international refs blow a lot quicker for not rolling away and holding on - and that is improving play.
 

didds

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I see "Use it called" then what seems an age for the SH to toe the ball dopwn the caterpillar, then set up, check the chaser is good, then effect the kick. Im not anal enough to time it ,... but if that always happens within 5 seconds its must be nano seconds off sometimes.

didds
 

thepercy


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I have no issue with the caterpillar. If one team wants to suck their players into a ruck to give them more space for a kick or pass so be it, that has its pros and cons. Just don't let the SH play the ball while offside and while the ball is in the ruck when he isn't. Also, call use it earlier and have the stones to call the turnover when it isn't used.
 
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