Counter Rucker Options?

jdeagro


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Hi,

Just wanted to brush up on this particular aspects of rucks (more so to improve my ability as a player.) I was wondering what options are available to a counter rucker in regards to playing the ball, and playing the man on the opposing team who's in the scrummy position, pulling the ball out of the ruck from their side.

I.e: Red ball carrier goes to ground and his support teammate stands over him to protect the ball. Blue player comes in to begin a ruck with red player. As a second red player comes up behind the ruck to act as the scrummy and starts digging the ball out with his hands, what options does the blue counter rucker have with his hands and feet (so long as he's driving through the gate)?

1) Can he grab the red scrummy player and commit him to the ruck (obviously by reaching over or around the first red player he's counter rucking)?

2) Can he grab / try to prevent the red scrummy player from passing the ball out of the ruck?

3) When the official yells "leave it" can the blue player still try to use his feet to win the ball back?

4) What if the ball is clearly won to red's side of the ruck (thus the 5 second law begins), can the blue player try to steal it back with his feet?

Thank You.
 

Ian_Cook


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1) Can he grab the red scrummy player and commit him to the ruck (obviously by reaching over or around the first red player he's counter rucking)?

NO.

2) Can he grab / try to prevent the red scrummy player from passing the ball out of the ruck?

NO.


3) When the official yells "leave it" can the blue player still try to use his feet to win the ball back?

YES. Any player on his feet can always use his feet to try to win the ball in a ruck. The "leave it" call means the referee is sayingt that the tackle is now a ruck

4) What if the ball is clearly won to red's side of the ruck (thus the 5 second law begins), can the blue player try to steal it back with his feet?

YES, provided that he is bound to the ruck. However, he is unlikely to be able to do this unless he is driving forward
 

Dixie


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2) Can he grab / try to prevent the red scrummy player from passing the ball out of the ruck?
Agree with Ian on all except this one, which is more nuanced than Ian's straight NO would imply.

If we imagine that the scrum half slips and falls after he's removed the ball from the ruck, then regains his feet and looks to pass, Ian's answer would suggest that an ex-rucker is impotent to engage the #9 at any point. Personally, I can't see any justification for this. While the ruck existed, the Red rucker was legal throughout the ruck. the ruck ends with the ball emerging fromt he Blue side. Now, all Blue ruckers are offside, being ahead of the ball carrier, but I see nothing (in law at least) that limits the options available to the Red ex-ruckers. Why can they not move forward and try to play the ball while the #9 is on the deck, or to tackle him once her's regained his feet? And if we allow these two things, then why can he not smother-tackle the 9 instead? In my games, the ex-ruckers can perfectly legally engage the #9 in this way after he's slipped.

So what if he doesn't slip? What if he simple takes two steps backwards and slowly winds up a huge pass? Again, there can be no doubt that the ruck is over. The #9 is simply a ball carrier in open play. Once the ruck ends, the erstwhile ruckers have no need to bind, and can use their arms and legs in any legal way. I know of no law that would prevent any legal rucker (e.g. one who was not loitering unbound at the base) from engaging the slow-acting #9.

And if that is the position with a slow-passing, double-stepping scrummie, how does it play out with a #9 of ST's class, who operated in the thick of it with a fast, whippy service executed in the midst of traffic? Well, my brief says that a #9 is protected until the ruck is over; thereafter, he's fair game. When is the ruck over?

[LAWS]16.6 SUCCESSFUL END TO A RUCK
A ruck ends successfully when the ball leaves the ruck, or when the ball is on or over the goal line.[/LAWS]

In mnost situations, the ruck ends when the ball moves behind its back foot. For me, that applies whether or not the ball is being carried. So the SH is protected as long as the ball is above any part of a rucking player; as soon as it moves behind the rearmost foot of the rearmost player, we are in open play and anyone who was legal immediately prior to that may attempt to engage the halfback.
 

Davet

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Agree with Ian.

Dixie's point is relevant when the ruck is over; but while it still exists you cannot pull in the 9
 

jdeagro


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Agree with Ian.

Dixie's point is relevant when the ruck is over; but while it still exists you cannot pull in the 9

True. But I think Dixie's point is actually more how I imagined the scenario in my head possibly (my fault for not adequately describing it.)

In reply to what Dixie said: If the red SH has both hands on the ball and is starting to make his pass, the ball is out and the ruck is over at this point then, correct? If so, can the blue rucker who is bound by the opposing red rucker, reach over and disrupt the SH? Can he reach over and try to grasp the red SH in efforts to make a tackle?

Thank you.
 

OB..


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If the red SH has both hands on the ball and is starting to make his pass, the ball is out and the ruck is over at this point then, correct?
This is a somewhat contentious point. Some referees do say that two hands on = ball out. Personally I argue that the ball has to be lifted clear of the ruck. (The scrum half should be allowed to pick the ball out, but not delay in doing so.)
If so, can the blue rucker who is bound by the opposing red rucker, reach over and disrupt the SH? Can he reach over and try to grasp the red SH in efforts to make a tackle?

Thank you.
If the ball is out of the ruck, I still do not see any justification for diving on top of the pile of players. You are inevitably playing players who do not have the ball !
 

Dixie


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If the ball is out of the ruck, I still do not see any justification for diving on top of the pile of players. You are inevitably playing players who do not have the ball !
I don't think anybody has suggested that. The question is whether or not an ex-rucker, once the ball is in the #9's hands and has passed the back foot of the ex-ruck but still within reach of the ex-ruckers, can now try to disrupt the #9's activity. To me, the answer is clearly Yes. Any ref pinging such an act is making it up as he goes along.
 

jdeagro


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If the ball is out of the ruck, I still do not see any justification for diving on top of the pile of players. You are inevitably playing players who do not have the ball !

I didn't say anything about diving on top of players (perhaps you were confusing my post with another one I recently was reading about diving over the ruck to score a try, or something of the sort?). That would be silly in this case indeed.

Rather, I was talking about the red SH being in a reachable distance from the blue counter rucker such that when the red SH takes the ball out of the ruck the blue counter rucker reaches past the red rucking player against him and grasps the SH in efforts to disrupt his pass and / or commit a tackle? I understand this isn't usually a potential scenario but it was something I did recently (as a result of the other teams rucker binding onto me from an angle in the ruck instead of straight on, which therefor left half the other side of the gate where the tackled player created open.

Thanks for your thoughts.
 

Davet

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If the red SH has both hands on the ball and is starting to make his pass, the ball is out and the ruck is over at this point then, correct?

The Law defines when the ball is out of the ruck. 9's hands are not mentioned, when the ball leaves the ruck is the only condition for a successful end to a ruck.
 

chbg


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16.4a Players must not return the ball into a ruck. I have taken that to mean that the ball, or a player with the ball, cannot be pulled back into, or taken into, the ruck. Although, if the ball does not return to the ground, is it a ruck?

16.4e A player must not fall on or over a ball as it is coming out of a ruck. So remain on your feet if you are allowed to grasp the SH.
 

Ian_Cook


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In reply to what Dixie said: If the red SH has both hands on the ball and is starting to make his pass, the ball is out and the ruck is over at this point.


This is not how the ruck is refereed here or anywhere else near here.

The ruck is over when the ball is out, and the ball is out when its..... out!

NOT when the SH has his hands on it
NOT when a bird can poop on it
NOT when the SH has lifted the ball off the ground
NOT when the referee has said "use it" (as I head some idiot commentator say last week)

The ball is out when it is out of the ruck, i.e. completely clear of bodies

 
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Dickie E


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OK. Ball is out and SH is in the process of doing something with it. The ruck has ended, so an opponent (who was in the just-ended ruck) may reach out and grasp the SH. Shame on the SH's forwards for allowing the opponent to be in that position.

The opponent may not slap the ball forward out of the SH's hands nor may he kick the ball out of the SH's hands.
 

jdeagro


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Ok, so I seem to be getting a lot of criticism for describing when the ball is out of a ruck. I was not saying this is the definition of when the ruck is over, rather I was trying to use an objective reference (that sounds universally acceptable, since a lot of officials use different specifics to visualize the scenario) to visualize a subjective wording of the law. I.e: I think the majority of officials would agree that if the SH has both his hands on the ball, which is off the ground and in the process of being passed, the ball is out of the ruck at this point.

Regardless, that is semantics; and my question is in regard to when the ball is declared out of the ruck and therefor the ruck is over. Specifically the scenario in which the ball is out of the ruck, the ruck is over; and the red SH is holding the ball in his hands (standing directly behind the previous ruck) and in the process of making a move with the ball whether it be passing it out, running with it, etc. Can the opposing blue (previously rucking) player, who is still bound on by a red (previously rucking) player, reach over and interfere with the red SH and his next decision with the ball by grasping the red SH?
 
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Dickie E


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Ok, so I seem to be getting a lot of criticism for describing when the ball is out of a ruck. I was not saying this is the definition of when the ruck is over, rather I was trying to use an objective reference (that sounds universally acceptable, since a lot of officials use different specifics to visualize the scenario) to visualize a subjective wording of the law. I.e: I think the majority of officials would agree that if the SH has both his hands on the ball, which is off the ground and in the process of being passed, the ball is out of the ruck at this point.

Regardless, that is semantics; and my question is in regard to when the ball is declared out of the ruck and therefor the ruck is over. Specifically the scenario in which the ball is out of the ruck, the ruck is over; and the red SH is holding the ball in his hands (standing directly behind the previous ruck) and in the process of making a move with the ball whether it be passing it out, running with it, etc. Can the opposing blue (previously rucking) player, who is still bound on by a red (previously rucking) player, reach over and interfere with the red SH and his next decision with the ball by grasping the red SH?

Yes - see post #12
 

Ian_Cook


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OK. Ball is out and SH is in the process of doing something with it. The ruck has ended, so an opponent (who was in the just-ended ruck) may reach out and grasp the SH. Shame on the SH's forwards for allowing the opponent to be in that position.


Yes but he had better be....

1. onside, or was onside at the time the ruck ended, and

2. on his feet.
 

Dixie


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Agree with Ian on all except this one, which is more nuanced than Ian's straight NO would imply.

If we imagine that the scrum half slips and falls after he's removed the ball from the ruck, then regains his feet and looks to pass, Ian's answer would suggest that an ex-rucker is impotent to engage the #9 at any point. Personally, I can't see any justification for this.

...

And if that is the position with a slow-passing, double-stepping scrummie, how does it play out with a #9 of ST's class, who operated in the thick of it with a fast, whippy service executed in the midst of traffic? Well, my brief says that a #9 is protected until the ruck is over; thereafter, he's fair game. When is the ruck over?

[LAWS]16.6 SUCCESSFUL END TO A RUCK
A ruck ends successfully when the ball leaves the ruck, or when the ball is on or over the goal line.[/LAWS]

In most situations, the ruck ends when the ball moves behind its back foot. For me, that applies whether or not the ball is being carried. So the SH is protected as long as the ball is above any part of a rucking player; as soon as it moves behind the rearmost foot of the rearmost player, we are in open play and anyone who was legal immediately prior to that may attempt to engage the halfback.[/QUOTE]

I think Dixie's point is actually more how I imagined the scenario in my head possibly (my fault for not adequately describing it.)

This is not how the ruck is refereed here or anywhere else near here.

The ruck is over when the ball is out, and the ball is out when its..... out!
Good grief! When you guys get a wrong idea in your heads, it's a real challenge to shake it off. What does jdeagro have to do to persuade you that the situation he's interested in occurs AFTER the ball is out! under your definition?
 
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Davet

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I.e: I think the majority of officials would agree that if the SH has both his hands on the ball, which is off the ground and in the process of being passed, the ball is out of the ruck at this point.

Then you would be wrong. As would the few refs who consider that to be the case.


If the ball is out then any player who was onside as the ruck ended may challenge for the ball.

A player may have been stood offside at the side of the ruck, or even in the middle of the ruck but not bound, such a player may not have been penalised immediately if they did not materially affect play - if such a player then challenges for the ball he will be pinged.
 

Ian_Cook


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How could he not be onside? He was in the ruck

FFS, sometimes, its like extracting teeth!! Do I really have to explain this to you?

Yes but he had better be....

1. onside, or was onside at the time the ruck ended if he was not a participant in the ruck, and

2. on his feet whether or not he was a participant in the ruck
 
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