Lifting leg to clear in the Ruck

TheBFG


Referees in England
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Messages
4,392
Post Likes
237
Current Referee grade:
Level 6
Just a topic I’d like to discuss. :chin:

A technique a lot of teams have been using for a while now and more so in the last 6N (sorry SH guys don’t have Sky so can’t comment on S?? 3N).

An obvious ploy, as a player joins the ruck they lift the leg of people in the ruck to make them less effective specially if they have “hands on”, if they’ve only got 1 leg on the ground they’re off balance and have less power in their upper body. Also if they then get dumped to the ground they are required to let the ball go (off their feet now!)

Are you happy with this?

How do you manage it?

Is it effectively tackling somebody without the ball?
 

Simon Thomas


Referees in England
Staff member
Joined
Dec 3, 2003
Messages
12,848
Post Likes
189
At lower Community levels of matches, I regard this as dangerous play. If you keep players on their feet (unlike the elite) it isn't likely to happen anyway.
 

Donal1988


Referees in Ireland
Joined
Jan 6, 2009
Messages
2,366
Post Likes
0
Minute I see it I shout "dangerous play, lower the leg". In open play players lift off the ground and bring them back down. In rucks its dangerous play and I think is against Law 16.3 (c) - collapsing a ruck. I gave two penalties for it in my last game.
 

TheBFG


Referees in England
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Messages
4,392
Post Likes
237
Current Referee grade:
Level 6
So another "well they do it on tv" for us to deal with.

I know I know "when we're on TV i'll let you gey away with it"
 

TheBFG


Referees in England
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Messages
4,392
Post Likes
237
Current Referee grade:
Level 6
At lower Community levels of matches, I regard this as dangerous play. If you keep players on their feet (unlike the elite) it isn't likely to happen anyway.

they'd be on their feet, how would you lift a leg if they weren't?
 

Staybound


Referees in England
Joined
Jan 6, 2009
Messages
452
Post Likes
0
I've seen this coached quite a lot and have coached it myself to U15+ - however I've always felt it is really only an allowable tactic for the first arriving player supporting the tackled player as a form of cleaning out. Once a ruck proper is formed I think it's dangerous and should be penalised as such. I'd also probably try and distinguish between the guy who lifts a leg slightly to improve his chances of winning the clean out rather than the guy who tries to lift the leg over his oppo's shoulder and cartwheel them off the ball. In a game I'd probably subject it to some contextual judgement (age, technical skill, intent). I'd probably ping it more often than not in most of its manifestations.
 

stuart3826


Referees in England
Joined
Aug 15, 2006
Messages
962
Post Likes
0
Just a topic I’d like to discuss. :chin:

A technique a lot of teams have been using for a while now and more so in the last 6N (sorry SH guys don’t have Sky so can’t comment on S?? 3N).

An obvious ploy, as a player joins the ruck they lift the leg of people in the ruck to make them less effective specially if they have “hands on”, if they’ve only got 1 leg on the ground they’re off balance and have less power in their upper body. Also if they then get dumped to the ground they are required to let the ball go (off their feet now!)

Are you happy with this?

How do you manage it?

Is it effectively tackling somebody without the ball?
If it's a ruck they shouldn't have their hands on the ball in the first place
 

Greg Collins


Referees in England
Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
2,856
Post Likes
1
just shout "leave his legs" or "red 7 leave his legs" if you are the better sort of referee and if they don't ping 'em for dangerous play. simple. hands on or hands off it is done deliberately to destabilise players and is illegal (even if coached)

Incidentaly if we shout "red 7 leave his legs" are we giving carte blanche to red 6 round the other side of the muckle to carry on. I prefer the less specific "leave his legs" on the basis that the guilty parties know who they are.
 

Mike Selig


Referees in England
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
396
Post Likes
0
I'm firmly with the majority. Shout "leave the legs" and if it carries on penalise it. In a recent match I did this, the captain querried what the penalty was for I said "taking the legs in a ruck, dangerous play" and no one seemed to have a problem with it.

I am very worried if this is being coached at U15s BTW.
 

Dickie E


Referees in Australia
Joined
Jan 19, 2007
Messages
14,225
Post Likes
2,219
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
I've seen this in mauls, but don't remember seeing it in a ruck. An arriving player is allowed to 'forklift' an opponent up and out of the way in a ruck.

In the photos above, looks to me like Red is the ball carrier being tackled simultaneously by 13 and the other black player. Therefore legal (provided he lands safely).
 

OB..


Referees in England
Staff member
Joined
Oct 7, 2004
Messages
22,981
Post Likes
1,838
I think those pictures are of O'Driscoll during the last Lions tour. There was a ruck and O'Driscoll was leaning on the back of it. The All Blacks had won the ball and passed it when Umaga and Mealamu decided to "tackle" him. They came round opposite sides of the ex-ruck, and would have been offside if it had not been ex. As it was they tackled a man without the ball, and the joint action (I do not personally believe it was premeditated) caused them to lose control and drop him on his shoulder. It was dislocated, and he was out for the rest of the tour after only 10 minutes or so of the first Test.

The Australian TJ shouted at them to leave him alone, but then did nothing further. The referee was following play and therefore did not see the incident.
 

Ian_Cook


Referees in New Zealand
Staff member
Joined
Jul 12, 2005
Messages
13,687
Post Likes
1,773
Current Referee grade:
Level 2
Surely, in any case where a player is picking up an opponent's leg in a ruck, somebody is where they should not be. Either;

a. The "picker" is offside ahead of the hindmost foot and not bound.
b. The "pickee" is on the wrong side of the ruck.
 

Patrick

Getting to know the game
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
83
Post Likes
10
In So Cal, they teach the leg-lifting at the ruck like it was a religion ESPECIALLY (if you can believe this) at U19 levels!

I'm going to start calling this EVERY time I see it.

I know this thread is super old but this information is amazing - great work guys!
 

Browner

Banned
Joined
Jan 20, 2012
Messages
6,000
Post Likes
270
You can tell how old the clip is by the unstraight feed and the hit & drive which doesn't happen anymore ............. No wait !!
 

ChrisR

Player or Coach
Joined
Jul 14, 2010
Messages
3,231
Post Likes
356
Current Referee grade:
Select Grade
Old threads never die ...

I have to disagree. This is NOT dangerous in and of itself.

If a player, legally bound in a ruck or maul, takes an opponents leg to de-power him it is not contrary to law.

If, by doing so, he collapses ruck/maul then he is liable to sanction.

Just my opinion.
 

chrismtl


Referees in Canada
Joined
Sep 14, 2013
Messages
202
Post Likes
35
Current Referee grade:
Select Grade
Old threads never die ...

I have to disagree. This is NOT dangerous in and of itself.

If a player, legally bound in a ruck or maul, takes an opponents leg to de-power him it is not contrary to law.

If, by doing so, he collapses ruck/maul then he is liable to sanction.

Just my opinion.

I feel what's seen most often at the level of rugby I'm used to (and probably Patrick as well), in North America especially, is that the player isn't lifting the leg and driving the unbalanced player straight backwards in an attempt to clear him out. Instead, you have a player who's not advancing in a ruck and instead of getting out and forming a defensive line like most high level players would, they instead grab a leg and pivot the player they're picking up with that leg and fall on him or dump him on the ground. Most of the time it looks more like a UFC move than proper rugby tactics.
 

Patrick

Getting to know the game
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
83
Post Likes
10
Old threads never die ...

I have to disagree. This is NOT dangerous in and of itself.

If a player, legally bound in a ruck or maul, takes an opponents leg to de-power him it is not contrary to law.

If, by doing so, he collapses ruck/maul then he is liable to sanction.

Just my opinion.

I think I agree - but the subtle difference between 'de-power' and collapse is razor thin. One more thing, I look at destabilizing a ruck to be a kissing cousin of collapses. Don't forget, in most cases, the tackler is still on the floor and I worry about safety all the time.

Interesting comment Marauder.

- Patrick
 
Top