WRU launches a tackle height law trial

number11


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Marc Wakeham


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We were all invited to a "Video meeting" where it was presented. Then there was a second for the Premiership clubs. Pretty much a done deal. Except we seemed to change their minds about including the Premierhip in the trial. A move we opposed strongly, due to our "feeder status" for the regional sides. I somehow managed to miss Ben's presentation.
 

Volun-selected


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I like that they’ve addressed the pick and go scenario:
As far as the PICK & GO is concerned, the ball carrier can ‘pick and drive’ whilst remaining in a low position. It’s acknowledged that tackles may be above the base of the sternum due to the body position of ball carrier, but that is a lower concussion risk area due to the velocity of the carry.
 

Dickie E


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18.29.e
Grasp and bring an opponent in possession of the ball to ground, provided that the player is not in the air.


Is the "sack" effected by this change?
 

Balones

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I like that they’ve addressed the pick and go scenario:
Isn’t it the velocity of the tackle that usually causes the damage and which we tend to penalise? Or the entry into the ruck/tackle? Just means that we are not going to penalise the ball carrier in such circumstances. What we need now is a definition of a ‘pick and drive’. Putting my coaches hat on I can see them telling their teams when picking up the ball simply to run in a bent over position for as long as possible instead of getting upright. Or aren’t you allowed to ’drive’ for more than two metres?
I think I may have said it before, short stocky players are going to be a valuable asset to a team at community level.
 

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What we need now is a definition of a ‘pick and drive’. Putting my coaches hat on I can see them telling their teams when picking up the ball simply to run in a bent over position for as long as possible instead of getting upright.
Definitely a lot to take on board when making a decision. For me, I think there is a balance for us as the WRU link has some clear expectations as under sanctions they have
A Ball carrier may be liable for sanction if they lower their head below their hips or lead with their head.
(Emphasis mine)
So for me there is an expectation that you cannot stay in that low position and zoom along the pitch Naruto style like the guy in the background here …
IMG_0136.gif
 

crossref


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We are at the stage now where I feel I dont want to read about slightly different trials in different countries, lest I confuse myself about what is happening on my own country !

Have World Rugby created a mess ? Should there have been a global trial ?
Or are they clever as they are going to be able to review all the different local trials and see what works best ?
 

Phil E


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At the RFRU AGM yesterday (England Referees Union) we went through the various timelines for the DLV (Domestic Law Variation) on the tackle height.

Scotland, Wales and Ireland are all following the RFU wording for the DLV and will all come into force on July 1st, this makes cross border matches much simpler. It is expected (from conversations) that World Rugby will follow suite after the World Cup and bring in the lower tackle height in January.

The RFU Tackle Height Hub will drip feed videos, posters, and other resources. The video quiz on there at the moment is pretty binary, i.e. this is legal, this isn't; but will progress onto more borderline cases where you have a variety of answers. It will then explain the correct answer and how they got to it. So a gradual build up of knowledge leading to the start of the season. There will be posters sent out to clubs, and send outs to coaches and match officials.

It was emphasised that only 1 law has changed (Law 9) and the other 20 odd laws remain the same.

Hope that helps.

PS: RFU will be monitoring the DLV for any unintended consequences of the new law wording.
 
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crossref


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so - in theory at least - this disucssion on the WRU rules, should apply excactly the same in England? That's reassuring
 

Stu10


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Isn’t it the velocity of the tackle that usually causes the damage and which we tend to penalise? Or the entry into the ruck/tackle? Just means that we are not going to penalise the ball carrier in such circumstances. What we need now is a definition of a ‘pick and drive’. Putting my coaches hat on I can see them telling their teams when picking up the ball simply to run in a bent over position for as long as possible instead of getting upright. Or aren’t you allowed to ’drive’ for more than two metres?
I think I may have said it before, short stocky players are going to be a valuable asset to a team at community level.
Not sure many teams can sustain length-of-the-pitch pick and drive for 80 minutes!
 

Phil E


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so - in theory at least - this disucssion on the WRU rules, should apply excactly the same in England? That's reassuring

The law wording will be exactly the same.

Not sure many teams can sustain length-of-the-pitch pick and drive for 80 minutes!

Once they move 1m away from the breakdown we are back in open play.
 

Balones

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And if you start on the half way line you’ll only need 50.:)
I’m sure that the law writers envisage pick and drives only happening within perhaps 5M of the try line but if I was coaching I’d now be asking my teams to start a bit earlier. If I was playing now I’d be a lot happier doing a pick and drive than running into a tackle upright with little protect from a high speed, heavy tackle aimed at my lower sternum region.
I was asked a couple of days ago by a player. ‘In open play how do I score if there is a defender on or near the try line and I can’t go over and I can’t dip to go under’? Any suggestions?
 

Phil E


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As I stated earlier The RFU will be monitoring the DLV for any unintended consequences of the new law wording.

You don't have to run bolt upright as a ball carrier, you just can't be what we are calling "late and low", which means dropping your height at the last minute to prevent a legal tackle, and putting your head in the same space as the tacklers.

I would suggest you thoroughly read the tackle height hub information which will cover all of your questions.
 

crossref


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. ‘In open play how do I score if there is a defender on or near the try line and I can’t go over and I can’t dip to go under’? Any suggestions?
Q1 of the video quiz suggests that you can dip, as long as shoulders are above hips
 

chbg


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As I stated earlier The RFU will be monitoring the DLV for any unintended consequences of the new law wording.

You don't have to run bolt upright as a ball carrier, you just can't be what we are calling "late and low", which means dropping your height at the last minute to prevent a legal tackle, and putting your head in the same space as the tacklers.

I would suggest you thoroughly read the tackle height hub information which will cover all of your questions.

This focus on the simple-to-remember phrase 'late and low' has the potential to come back and bite us. It is not "just" 'late and low': the ball carrier also has the responsibility not to lead with head (or shoulders) (LV 9.11(a)), nor to lower their head below the line of hips, early or late, other than in a strict pick-and-drive tactic or scoring attempt, in order to avoid the risk of a head-to-head contact (RFU explanation).

Edit: cue cries of "why are you penalising, that wasn't late and low".
 

Phil E


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This focus on the simple-to-remember phrase 'late and low' has the potential to come back and bite us. It is not "just" 'late and low': the ball carrier also has the responsibility not to lead with head (or shoulders) (LV 9.11(a)), nor to lower their head below the line of hips, early or late, other than in a strict pick-and-drive tactic or scoring attempt, in order to avoid the risk of a head-to-head contact (RFU explanation).

Edit: cue cries of "why are you penalising, that wasn't late and low".

If you go low early you are not about to get tackled? Both players have time to re-adjust.
The point of late and low is that you give the tackler no time to readjust.

That wasn't late and low, no but it was dangerous.
 

Balones

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I think what people are concerned about is a ’late’ tackle. Not an illegal one after a pass but one you don’t see coming or one where the defender readjusts how he is going to tackle you if you are the ball carrier. Ball carriers tend to react to protect themselves and there is a likelihood that under such circumstances can be penalised. Penalising somebody for protecting themselves doesn’t seem right. Clearly the devil will be in the detail. The French, as recently reported, took three years of chaos to get to a level where they were happy with what they were doing. Will we be as patient?
I have watched several French community games on video and with my observers hat on can say that the amount of inconsistency of interpretation within any game I saw was concerning. But at the same time the players seem to accept it and get on with the game. Based on what I saw and a brief chat with a couple of contacts in France it seems referees let the games flow and only blow if it looks dangerous or ‘wrong’, rather than technically totally correct in law. The ‘late and low’ ball carrier wasn’t penalised unless he actually hurt the defender as far as I could see. If I was to summarise I’d say that basically the players seem to have got into the habit of tackling a bit lower (but far from always the proposed legal height) and referees are really only applying the existing laws more rigorously/tightly. I didn’t recognise a game much different from what I usually observe in this country. I’ll admit that I am not sure what the equivalent level of games was that I was watching.
 

Phil E


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You cannot take the French as an example. The French Rugby Union was told on a Monday to lower the tackle height by Saturday or have all games shut down by the government. They had no chance to consult or feed out information and guidance, they literally went from one week the tackle height is shoulders, to the next week it was the tummy. That is why they had ensuing chaos.

The late and low only applies if foul play takes place. This would be the tackler getting into a position to tackle low, and the ball carrier then dropping his height at the last minute to put his head in the same space as the tacklers head, giving the tackler no time to adjust. The ensuing head contact would be foul play and the ball carrier would be responsible.

As for the ball carrier protecting himself, that comes from turning into the tackle with your shoulder. You don't brace for a tackle by lowering your head like a charging bull?
 

didds

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well even turning a shoulder for contact you do lower your height and brace of course...
 
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