[Ruck] New tactics being deployed from new law changes

CrouchTPEngage


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I enjoy listening to the Rugby Dungeon podcast and a recent episode with Glasgow coach, Kenny Murray was interesting when he talked about the new tactics they were hoping to exploit this season.
I hadn't seen it coming so.thought it worth tipping off fellow refs on here.
Now (2017), a ruck is formed immediately upon the arrival of the first player over the ball
This also established the 2 offside lines across the pitch. So, one tactic is to use a high kick-chase and get 2 players there quickly enough to get a ruck formed. This will, then put the retiring defenders offside and any attempt to tackle any ball received from that ruck will result in a penalty and an easy 3 points. Well, that's the theory anyway.
Are there any other new tactics we should be wary of ?

Thanks, in advance.
 

didds

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there still has to be a tackle for the new ruck law. But yes - if the kickers can get a tackler and a jackler (or tackle/jackle and passer/sniper) to the defender that catches it, quickly, then the ruck off side is formed as described.

but (law 11.8) any retiring defenders can be put onside by the attackers once one of them has run 5m or kicked. passing doesn't put them onside though - so a team that can carry only 4m per person before passing each time is in a strong position ;-)

didds
 

Ian_Cook


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Sounds OK in theory, but in the real world, I can't see it working, at least not any differently to how it works now. In the scenario he described, as didds points out, there has to be a tackle first, so if the catcher is brought to ground very quickly (easy to say not so easy to do) and the ruck-formers get there immediately, then the ruck might form half a second quicker than normal. Otherwise, it will be no different from before.

Another thing worth considering is, while the new law applies after a tackle, what happens when a ball carrier goes to ground without being tackled (Law 14). Will one player over the ball-carrier on the ground form a ruck, or will it still require two? If the latter, then when a team is faced with an opponent that executes the proposed scenario well, the catcher just drops straight to the ground.... Law 14 applies, no ruck, no offside line, and the jackler can get cleaned out from any direction.

Alternatively, they could try to defuse the scenario by jumping to catch the ball but actually bat or throw the ball to a team-mate while still in the air (as they do in a line-out). This means the two chasers (who will not be challenging in the air if their intention is to form a ruck quickly) will be fully committed to the catcher, and therefore not in a position to tackle the eventual receiver.
 
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Jolly Roger


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Ian Cook: while the new law applies after a tackle, what happens when a ball carrier goes to ground without being tackled (Law 14). Will one player over the ball-carrier on the ground form a ruck, or will it still require two?

My understanding is that the new "one-man ruck" law only applies immediately after a tackle and therefore old laws apply in open play so a player can approach from any direction to jackle for the ball and a defender can approach from any direction to clear out the jackler... i.e. as was.
Please correct me if I am wrong.
 

Jolly Roger


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I have been approached by a coach from my local club who wanted to discuss the new scrum laws, in particular the position of the SH and the need for a front row player to strike for the ball. His belief is that a referee standing on the same side as the SH will not be able to see whether the ball is put in perfectly straight as it will be in line with the LHP's outer foot and so long as one foot moves the ref will not be able to discern whether a strike was credible. His thinking was to get the LHP to move a foot slightly as part of the initial drive forward. The other option is for hooker to move his left foot forward slightly with ball passing behind it, whilst still in a good driving positon (as no need to twist in the strike as in days of yore) and continue with the 8 man shove.

I do think that the position of the SH in line with the attacking front row will make it more difficult for the ref to see exactly what is going on. This may also obstruct the view of defending THP's bind as will be obscured by the SH.
 

OB..


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My understanding is that the new "one-man ruck" law only applies immediately after a tackle and therefore old laws apply in open play so a player can approach from any direction to jackle for the ball and a defender can approach from any direction to clear out the jackler... i.e. as was.
Please correct me if I am wrong.
[LAWS]Law 16: Amended Ruck Law
A ruck commences when at least one player is on their feet and over the ball which is on the ground (tackled player, tackler). At this point the offside line is created. A player on their feet may use their hands to pick up the ball as long as this is immediate. As soon as an opposition player arrives no hands can be used.[/LAWS]
The reference to the tackle is almost an afterthought, as though all such occasions involve a tackle. There is an amendment to the Tackle law.
[LAWS]Amended Tackle 15.4 (c)
The tackler must get up before playing the ball and then can only play from their side of the tackle gate.
[/LAWS]

The point about falling on the ball is not properly covered. There is no amendment to Law 14.
 

didds

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My understanding is that the new "one-man ruck" law only applies immediately after a tackle and therefore old laws apply in open play so a player can approach from any direction to jackle for the ball and a defender can approach from any direction to clear out the jackler... i.e. as was.
Please correct me if I am wrong.

You are wrong :)

For quite some while now (ie years) at a tackle jacklers and supporters etc could ONLY approach the ball from their side of the tackle and "through the gate". This has not changed so any jackler still has to approach the ball "through the gate". [1]

Until these latest changes the one exception was [1] the tackler who could once he had regained his feet then approach the ball from any direction - this allowance has been removed in these new laws.

So summarising

- tackle
- any subsequent players including the tackler (and/or I suppose the tackled player!) has to approach the ball "through the gate".
- once one player is over the ball it is now a ruck and ruck offside lines appear.

didds
 

Christy


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:clap:I think you will have the same brigade of people on side lines , shouting out and quoting new rules to refs
( even though some of them didnt educate them selves to learn old rules )
But mainly i think the players will play same as before & generally a lazy runner in old rules ,,unless he got fitter or faster ,, will still be a lazy runer with new rules ..
So if the lazy runner before was giving away penaltiex at rucks , he / she will still give away penalties in new rules .
And if his team mates cant beat the rules into consistent offender .
Then there is not much chance of him / her stop offending .

I really dont see the game being played any different .
I dont think players will now not compete for ball any more or less at rucks / tackles , because the ruck is created quicker . ( you were no good to your team mate if you are in front of ball in old rules also )
I dont think team mates will be caught out any more or less in an off side position & interfeering with play .
And i would be very surprised to see the game offering more or less penalties to any side , becausr a ruck is now by law created quicker
( it will stop the italian job & thats all it needs to do ):clap:
 

Dixie


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[LAWS]Law 16: Amended Ruck Law
A ruck commences when at least one player is on their feet and over the ball which is on the ground (tackled player, tackler). At this point the offside line is created. A player on their feet may use their hands to pick up the ball as long as this is immediate. As soon as an opposition player arrives no hands can be used.[/LAWS]
The reference to the tackle is almost an afterthought, as though all such occasions involve a tackle. There is an amendment to the Tackle law.
[LAWS]Amended Tackle 15.4 (c)
The tackler must get up before playing the ball and then can only play from their side of the tackle gate.
[/LAWS]

The point about falling on the ball is not properly covered. There is no amendment to Law 14.

So the new law, discussing the commencement of a ruck, presumably replaces and overrules Law 16.1(b) for the purposes of these trials?

[LAWS]16.1 Forming a ruck
(a) Where can a ruck take place. A ruck can take place only in the field of play.
(b) How can a ruck form. Players are on their feet. At least one player must be in physical contact with an opponent. The ball must be on the ground. If the ball is off the ground for any reason, the ruck is not formed.[/LAWS]

World Rugby never seem to learn that they need to get the wording right. If the (rather odd) inclusion of the words "(tackled player, tackler)" mean anything at all, it presumably means that a ruck can only take place after a tackle. A moment's thought leads one to conclude this is daft, as otherwise a melee around a ball dropped backwards is not covered by the LoTG. So the words can only mean nothing - so why do the dolts at WR insist on adding them?
 

Dixie


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... there has to be a tackle first, so if the catcher is brought to ground very quickly (easy to say not so easy to do) and the ruck-formers get there immediately, then the ruck might form half a second quicker than normal. Otherwise, it will be no different from before.
This determination of whether or not this applies only in the event of the tackle is key. If not, then the defender may himself create the ruck offside lines, putting his own team mates offside by the very act of arriving at the ball on the ground (ruck formed) and then picking it up (legitimate handling in the ruck by the former of said ruck).
 

wrighty


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Two questions
1. Does being ''over the tackled player'' actually start the ruck from a defender's point of view , allowing for the fact that the ball maybe placed a good arms length behind the tackled player , possibly a metre away from the tackler ,so he / she is not over it yet ?
2. When the first player to arrive places hands on the ball is it not ruck over ? So he/she can be tackled from any direction ?
 

Dixie


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This determination of whether or not this applies only in the event of the tackle is key. If not, then the defender may himself create the ruck offside lines, putting his own team mates offside by the very act of arriving at the ball on the ground (ruck formed) and then picking it up (legitimate handling in the ruck by the former of said ruck).

Answering my own question (in RFU-land anyway), Phil E posted official guidance in another thread:

Guidance Notes:
The “one man” ruck only applies after a tackle and that normal ruck law applies to all other situations
e.g. player voluntarily going to ground, ball on ground in open play etc. The offside line is formed when a
player from either team arrive over the ball
 

wrighty


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Two questions
1. Does being ''over the tackled player'' actually start the ruck from a defender's point of view , allowing for the fact that the ball maybe placed a good arms length behind the tackled player , possibly a metre away from the tackler ,so he / she is not over it yet ?
2. When the first player to arrive places hands on the ball is it not ruck over ? So he/she can be tackled from any direction ?

Qu 1 Should read ''being over the ball '' ! Typo !
 

Jolly Roger


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You are wrong :)

For quite some while now (ie years) at a tackle jacklers and supporters etc could ONLY approach the ball from their side of the tackle and "through the gate". This has not changed so any jackler still has to approach the ball "through the gate". [1]

Until these latest changes the one exception was [1] the tackler who could once he had regained his feet then approach the ball from any direction - this allowance has been removed in these new laws.

So summarising

- tackle
- any subsequent players including the tackler (and/or I suppose the tackled player!) has to approach the ball "through the gate".
- once one player is over the ball it is now a ruck and ruck offside lines appear.

didds

Thanks Didds, however, my comment was that
...old laws apply in open play so a player can approach from any direction to jackle for the ball and a defender can approach from any direction to clear out the jackler...
; this being quite separate from the tackle situation.

Clarification has been provided in RFU Guidance:
The “one man” ruck only applies after a tackle and that normal ruck law applies to all other situations e.g. player voluntarily going to ground, ball on ground in open play etc.
as referenced earlier.

Therefore, the one-man-ruck and subsequent off-side occurs at tackle only. Player going to ground in open play requires one player from each side, on their feet, in contact over the ball in order for a ruck to be formed and thereby create offside lines.
 

Ian_Cook


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Answering my own question (in RFU-land anyway), Phil E posted official guidance in another thread:

Guidance Notes:
The “one man” ruck only applies after a tackle and that normal ruck law applies to all other situations
e.g. player voluntarily going to ground, ball on ground in open play etc. The offside line is formed when a
player from either team arrive over the ball

Right, so my earlier suggestion is valid. The defending team can defuse the OP's suggestion, and prevent the kick chasers from making a quick ruck to catch retiring players offside to get a cheap 3 pointer, by dropping straight to ground so that there cannot be a tackle. No tackle = no one man ruck.
 

Ian_Cook


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You are wrong :)

For quite some while now (ie years) at a tackle jacklers and supporters etc could ONLY approach the ball from their side of the tackle and "through the gate". This has not changed so any jackler still has to approach the ball "through the gate". [1]

didds, Jolly Roger is talking about Law 14 which is open play. When a player goes to ground without being tackled, there is no gate. Players can arrive from any direction to contest the ball.
 

Rushforth


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I have been approached by a coach from my local club who wanted to discuss the new scrum laws, in particular the position of the SH and the need for a front row player to strike for the ball. His belief is that a referee standing on the same side as the SH will not be able to see whether the ball is put in perfectly straight as it will be in line with the LHP's outer foot and so long as one foot moves the ref will not be able to discern whether a strike was credible. His thinking was to get the LHP to move a foot slightly as part of the initial drive forward. The other option is for hooker to move his left foot forward slightly with ball passing behind it, whilst still in a good driving positon (as no need to twist in the strike as in days of yore) and continue with the 8 man shove.

I do think that the position of the SH in line with the attacking front row will make it more difficult for the ref to see exactly what is going on. This may also obstruct the view of defending THP's bind as will be obscured by the SH.

Ignoring the technicality that the "attacking" side is based on field position rather than the side putting in:

The first responsibility of the referee is player safety. In the time of "the hit" referees would completely ignore skewed feeds, for the simple reason that getting the scrum over quickly (aka Continuity of Play) was more worthwhile than letting the other side win the ball against the head occasionally (aka Fair Contest).

If anything, the fact that the SH stands a ball's length to their (usually) left as they put the ball in will make it easier to detect a crooked feed, and don't forget that the referee has two sides to stand at. The more important issue is pushing before the ball is in, which is unchanged.

It is understandable that coaches from ones local club would like to know what the new deal is, but remember that referees are also looking for patterns. And it is hard enough to look at the angle of the feed, the bindings of all four props, as well as early feet up by hookers - and that is by 1960's standards!

The topic is "new tactics", but the crooked feed has been around since Rugby League has existed, in other words for more than a century. I was first informed of the "step to the left" trick some around the turn of the millennium, by a SH poacher turned gamekeeper (fellow referee) who never used it when I was hooking, nor a skew feed.

Younger referees may have to adapt, but those of us that have been in rugby for decades...
 

Ian_Cook


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Ignoring the technicality that the "attacking" side is based on field position rather than the side putting in:

The first responsibility of the referee is player safety. In the time of "the hit" referees would completely ignore skewed feeds, for the simple reason that getting the scrum over quickly (aka Continuity of Play) was more worthwhile than letting the other side win the ball against the head occasionally (aka Fair Contest).

If anything, the fact that the SH stands a ball's length to their (usually) left as they put the ball in will make it easier to detect a crooked feed, and don't forget that the referee has two sides to stand at. The more important issue is pushing before the ball is in, which is unchanged.

It is understandable that coaches from ones local club would like to know what the new deal is, but remember that referees are also looking for patterns. And it is hard enough to look at the angle of the feed, the bindings of all four props, as well as early feet up by hookers - and that is by 1960's standards!

The topic is "new tactics", but the crooked feed has been around since Rugby League has existed, in other words for more than a century. I was first informed of the "step to the left" trick some around the turn of the millennium, by a SH poacher turned gamekeeper (fellow referee) who never used it when I was hooking, nor a skew feed.

Younger referees may have to adapt, but those of us that have been in rugby for decades...

...to their right. They will stand closer to their own scrum
 

didds

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didds, Jolly Roger is talking about Law 14 which is open play. When a player goes to ground without being tackled, there is no gate. Players can arrive from any direction to contest the ball.

sorry both - I'd missed that completely!

DOH!

didds
 
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