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ChrisR
22-11-14, 20:11
In another thread there are several insinuations that 7s cheat. I'd like to hear the accusations in more detail. Why do you think they are cheaters? In what manner do they cheat?

Rushforth
22-11-14, 21:11
In another thread there are several insinuations that 7s cheat. I'd like to hear the accusations in more detail. Why do you think they are cheaters? In what manner do they cheat?

Both flankers are in the position to influence the game by playing on the edge, more of a position than anybody else, at least - and that's coming from an old hooker (don't call me een ouwehoer though, even if I am).

In the modern game, in which we all want continuity of play, it is perhaps the #7 who - if watched in slo-mo from multiple angles - most exemplifies this "getting-away-with-it" aspect, which was rationalised away in the case of the forward pass, and more importantly led to a return of safe (hit-less) scrummaging, where safety is a major issue.

The best #7s, such as the one mentioned in another thread, tend not to be dangerous - or at least I'd be surprised if allegations of dangerous play were made. They may get away with being "too fast" (genuinely, in slo-mo) for some incidents - which might be key - because they are "really (almost) that fast" (legally) most of the time.

There also tends to be a certain glee from (mid-level) flankers that "get away with it" which enhances this reputation.

ChrisR
23-11-14, 16:11
..... and what are they "getting away with"?

RobLev
23-11-14, 17:11
..... and what are they "getting away with"?

Slowing down opposition ball and speeding up their own by playing the ball from positions and with parts of their anatomy that the particular referee on the particular day sees as just the right side of legal but that would be considered by another referee on another day as illegal.

McCaw's particular skill (along with his many others) is judging exactly where the referee he is playing that day draws that line and, when visible to the referee (another important part of the 7's skillset), staying on the right side of it.

ChrisR
23-11-14, 19:11
"Slowing down opposition ball .....". Not releasing in the tackle? Not rolling away? Hands on the ball after the ruck forms?

" ... and speeding up their own [ball] by playing the ball from positions and with parts of their anatomy ..." Hand rucking?

RobLev
23-11-14, 21:11
"Slowing down opposition ball .....". Not releasing in the tackle? Not rolling away? Hands on the ball after the ruck forms?

" ... and speeding up their own [ball] by playing the ball from positions and with parts of their anatomy ..." Hand rucking?

Yes.

And they don't restrict their activites to the ruck:

http://www.rugbydump.com/2009/01/804/the-infamous-hand-of-back-incident-of-2002

Ian_Cook
23-11-14, 22:11
Slowing down opposition ball and speeding up their own by playing the ball from positions and with parts of their anatomy that the particular referee on the particular day sees as just the right side of legal but that would be considered by another referee on another day as illegal.

McCaw's particular skill (along with his many others) is judging exactly where the referee he is playing that day draws that line and, when visible to the referee (another important part of the 7's skillset), staying on the right side of it.


"Slowing down opposition ball .....". Not releasing in the tackle? Not rolling away? Hands on the ball after the ruck forms?

" ... and speeding up their own [ball] by playing the ball from positions and with parts of their anatomy ..." Hand rucking?


Yes.

And they don't restrict their activities to the ruck:

http://www.rugbydump.com/2009/01/804/the-infamous-hand-of-back-incident-of-2002


All of which are activities and infringements committed by other players, not just guys with the No. 7 (or in South Africa No. 6) on their back.

Another one you get quite often is when they are pinged, when they genuinely believe they were legal, and that is not really cheating. The first PK against McCaw v Wales on the weekend was just such an example.

There was a ruck, players were rolled away and there were no longer any ruck players on their feet. The ball was on the ground between players from both sides, more on Red's side of the ruck than Black's, but certainly not at the back and available and Red 9 was not present. Red 4 and McCaw both went for the ball, McCaw was slightly quicker and got his hands on the ball first and was then got pinged for hands in the ruck.

You can see it here starting around 1:00 on the video clock

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRT3Xw6rO1w

Now I can understand WB's thinking. McCaw was pinged because in WB's mind, it was still a ruck and he was the second man in, but I have to ask a couple of questions. Please support and justify your answers with Law, and don't just give me elite refereeisms; the parrot-fashion party line answer. In other words, don't just use frame by frame micro-analysis of the video to justify why you think WB was correct. I'm not interested in his specific decision in this case. I want generic/holistic answers.

1. As I see it, Red didn't have any more right in Law to pick up the ball than Black, so if Red 4 had got his hands on it first, would/could/should he have been pinged?. If not, why not?

2. If the ball had been in exactly the same place but covered by players off their feet, would either Red 9 or Black 9 have been allowed to dig for it? If so, why not Red or Black 7?

3. Since the Lawmakers have effectively killed rucking with feet (despite not having the courage to actually outlaw it), then raking the ball out with the feet is too risky. What are players supposed to do in situation like this, stand around and gawk at the ball but don't touch it?

4. On another day, with another referee, McCaw's actions might have been allowed (see England v NZ @ Twickenham two weeks ago, Nigel Owens referee). When a player infringes when they genuinely believe they weren't is that really cheating?

For mine, this situation (when there are no ruckers on their feet and the ball is in plain view), when a player who enter through the gate, he ought to be allowed to pick up the ball. Its there, available to be contested, and it just plain ludicrous that the ball cannot be picked up!

OB..
23-11-14, 23:11
3. Since the Lawmakers have effectively killed rucking with feet (despite not having the courage to actually outlaw it), [...]

16.3 (f) A player rucking for the ball must not intentionally ruck players on the ground. A player rucking for the ball must try to step over players on the ground and must not intentionally step on them. A player rucking must do so near the ball.
Not good enough? How would you reword it?

Ian_Cook
24-11-14, 00:11
16.3 (f) A player rucking for the ball must not intentionally ruck players on the ground. A player rucking for the ball must try to step over players on the ground and must not intentionally step on them. A player rucking must do so near the ball.
Not good enough? How would you reword it?

The wording is fine OB, but the fact is that players now rarely, if ever ruck for the ball with their feet...its an observed fact. Why is that?

The only reason I can think of is that the lawmakers have made it too risky for the ruckers while making less risky options available to them. They have demanded that players roll away from the contact area, allowed players in the ruck to feed already won ruck ball back, and allowed SH's to go digging for the ball. Effectively they have allowed hands in the ruck in select circumstances; why would any player want to use a high risk-low reward technique, when a low risk high-reward technique works better?

RobLev
24-11-14, 01:11
All of which are activities and infringements committed by other players, not just guys with the No. 7 (or in South Africa No. 6) on their back.

Of course - but 7s seem to do it more frequently, albeit that might be confirmation bias.


Another one you get quite often is when they are pinged, when they genuinely believe they were legal, and that is not really cheating. The first PK against McCaw v Wales on the weekend was just such an example.

There was a ruck, players were rolled away and there were no longer any ruck players on their feet. The ball was on the ground between players from both sides, more on Red's side of the ruck than Black's, but certainly not at the back and available and Red 9 was not present. Red 4 and McCaw both went for the ball, McCaw was slightly quicker and got his hands on the ball first and was then got pinged for hands in the ruck.

You can see it here starting around 1:00 on the video clock

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRT3Xw6rO1w

Now I can understand WB's thinking. McCaw was pinged because in WB's mind, it was still a ruck and he was the second man in, but I have to ask a couple of questions. Please support and justify your answers with Law, and don't just give me elite refereeisms; the parrot-fashion party line answer. In other words, don't just use frame by frame micro-analysis of the video to justify why you think WB was correct. I'm not interested in his specific decision in this case. I want generic/holistic answers.

1. As I see it, Red didn't have any more right in Law to pick up the ball than Black, so if Red 4 had got his hands on it first, would/could/should he have been pinged?. If not, why not?

2. If the ball had been in exactly the same place but covered by players off their feet, would either Red 9 or Black 9 have been allowed to dig for it? If so, why not Red or Black 7?

3. Since the Lawmakers have effectively killed rucking with feet (despite not having the courage to actually outlaw it), then raking the ball out with the feet is too risky. What are players supposed to do in situation like this, stand around and gawk at the ball but don't touch it?

4. On another day, with another referee, McCaw's actions might have been allowed (see England v NZ @ Twickenham two weeks ago, Nigel Owens referee). When a player infringes when they genuinely believe they weren't is that really cheating?

For mine, this situation (when there are no ruckers on their feet and the ball is in plain view), when a player who enter through the gate, he ought to be allowed to pick up the ball. Its there, available to be contested, and it just plain ludicrous that the ball cannot be picked up!

You'll get no disagreement from me on the outcome - the ball was available to be played.

Having said that., I'd have pinged Wales for the combination saddle-roll and drive from the side that collapsed the ruck to make the ball available...

OB..
24-11-14, 12:11
The wording is fine OB, but the fact is that players now rarely, if ever ruck for the ball with their feet...its an observed fact. Why is that?

The only reason I can think of is that the lawmakers have made it too risky for the ruckers while making less risky options available to them. They have demanded that players roll away from the contact area, allowed players in the ruck to feed already won ruck ball back, and allowed SH's to go digging for the ball. Effectively they have allowed hands in the ruck in select circumstances; why would any player want to use a high risk-low reward technique, when a low risk high-reward technique works better?I don't really understand what your problem is. They have severely curbed rucking to prevent injury, but they do not want a free-for-all wrestling match on the floor.

Ian_Cook
24-11-14, 19:11
I don't really understand what your problem is. They have severely curbed rucking to prevent injury, but they do not want a free-for-all wrestling match on the floor.

Then why not go the whole hog and actually say it; make it the Law... allow players on their feet who are not in the ruck and have remained onside, to use their hands to contest for the ball?

They tried this already as an ELV back in 2008, and used it in the original Australian Rugby Championship. Breakdown ball was available lightning fast and the players loved it because it was easy to understand; there was no transition from allowed to use hands to not allowed to use hands, so what you were or were not allowed to do wasn't down to referee's interpretation of ruck formed - if you were on your feet and onside you were allowed to go for it.

I suspect that it was never adopted because in certain quarters of the game, at the time, they didn't want ruck ball to be available that quickly, with little chance to slow it down.

All of this very interesting, but none of it addresses my questions in post #7

crossref
24-11-14, 20:11
Then why not go the whole hog and actually say it; make it the Law... allow players on their feet who are not in the ruck and have remained onside, to use their hands to contest for the ball?

They tried this already as an ELV back in 2008, and used it in the original Australian Rugby Championship. Breakdown ball was available lightning fast and the players loved it because it was easy to understand; there was no transition from allowed to use hands to not allowed to use hands, so what you were or were not allowed to do wasn't down to referee's interpretation of ruck formed - if you were on your feet and onside you were allowed to go for it.

I suspect that it was never adopted because in certain quarters of the game, at the time, they didn't want ruck ball to be available that quickly, with little chance to slow it down.

All of this very interesting, but none of it addresses my questions in post #7

that is interesting : and to me surprising, I would have expected that allowing hands would result in more wrestling matches and slower ball. But that's the point of trials, isn't it - to see what happens.

I don't really buy your conspiracy theory: would be interesting to see the conclusions from the trial published.

Ian_Cook
24-11-14, 21:11
that is interesting : and to me surprising, I would have expected that allowing hands would result in more wrestling matches and slower ball. But that's the point of trials, isn't it - to see what happens.

You had to be onside out of the ruck or had to be in the ruck and always on your feet to pick up the ball. Initially, what you suggested did happen, but it didn't take long for teams to work out that the tackled player had to place the ball back pronto, and their support players would have to drive over the ball and commit numbers to the breakdown quickly so that they could get bodies on their feet between their opponents and the ball, which put the ball out of reach for onside players and opposing ruck players to grab.



I don't really buy your conspiracy theory: would be interesting to see the conclusions from the trial published.

I too would like to have seen those, but it was never made available publicly - one of your secret memos perhaps? :biggrin:

In practical terms, Clarification 2009-4 (which was jointly requested by the NZRU and the ARU) that led to the introduction of Law 16.4 (b), effectively got a partial hands in the ruck legalisation in through the back door.

didds
25-11-14, 01:11
1. As I see it, Red didn't have any more right in Law to pick up the ball than Black, so if Red 4 had got his hands on it first, would/could/should he have been pinged?. If not, why not?



I did think the same thing at the time. I understood WB's reasoning and in fact when RC grabbed the ball there was some inner voice that said "that is seen as ruck still happening despite everyone has disappeared, so he'll get pinged". But I did then think... who else was going to be able to get the ball? I can only think that WB would have required somebody on their feet coming from behind the back foot (aka players on the floor) to walk over/past the ball for it to then become "ball out". ??

Obviously i have no direct link to WB's mind, so this is purely conjecture :-) It was certainly bloody messy.

didds

menace
25-11-14, 04:11
All of which are activities and infringements committed by other players, not just guys with the No. 7 (or in South Africa No. 6) on their back.

Another one you get quite often is when they are pinged, when they genuinely believe they were legal, and that is not really cheating. The first PK against McCaw v Wales on the weekend was just such an example.

There was a ruck, players were rolled away and there were no longer any ruck players on their feet. The ball was on the ground between players from both sides, more on Red's side of the ruck than Black's, but certainly not at the back and available and Red 9 was not present. Red 4 and McCaw both went for the ball, McCaw was slightly quicker and got his hands on the ball first and was then got pinged for hands in the ruck.

You can see it here starting around 1:00 on the video clock

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRT3Xw6rO1w

Now I can understand WB's thinking. McCaw was pinged because in WB's mind, it was still a ruck and he was the second man in, but I have to ask a couple of questions. Please support and justify your answers with Law, and don't just give me elite refereeisms; the parrot-fashion party line answer. In other words, don't just use frame by frame micro-analysis of the video to justify why you think WB was correct. I'm not interested in his specific decision in this case. I want generic/holistic answers.

1. As I see it, Red didn't have any more right in Law to pick up the ball than Black, so if Red 4 had got his hands on it first, would/could/should he have been pinged?. If not, why not?

2. If the ball had been in exactly the same place but covered by players off their feet, would either Red 9 or Black 9 have been allowed to dig for it? If so, why not Red or Black 7?

3. Since the Lawmakers have effectively killed rucking with feet (despite not having the courage to actually outlaw it), then raking the ball out with the feet is too risky. What are players supposed to do in situation like this, stand around and gawk at the ball but don't touch it?

4. On another day, with another referee, McCaw's actions might have been allowed (see England v NZ @ Twickenham two weeks ago, Nigel Owens referee). When a player infringes when they genuinely believe they weren't is that really cheating?

For mine, this situation (when there are no ruckers on their feet and the ball is in plain view), when a player who enter through the gate, he ought to be allowed to pick up the ball. Its there, available to be contested, and it just plain ludicrous that the ball cannot be picked up!

It seems the video is gone, but I understand what you describe because it happens quite a lot at grassroots and particularly juniors. I think WB technically got it correct.
We probably all agree that the ruck was not over. Yes? (And assuming there there wasn't some other illegal actions such as collapsing the ruck etc).
Therefore although ball is there to be played technically nobody is permitted to handle the ball in the ruck.
So what are they supposed to do? It was explained to me thus (by an ex super rugby referee), that obviously anyone whose coming into the ruck to play at the ball is therefore wanting to 'join the ruck'. That law states

(b)A player joining a ruck must bind on a team-mate or an opponent, using the whole arm. The bind must either precede, or be simultaneous with, contact with any other part of the body of the player joining the ruck.
Therefore to legally gain possession of the ball, Mccaw needed to find a team mate, bind on to him and step over the ball. The ruck is then over as ball is past their hindmost feet and the next kiwi can grab it (even if the ball doesn't move, the ruck now has moved past the ball). Alternatively mccaw should have waited that extra second and bound onto the red 4 and then drove him back past the ball. Again the ball is now out of the ruck and can be played with hands.
Now to me this would apply to either team wanting to gain legal possession.
Therefore by law I would answer your questions
1) yes if I was going to ping black for that, then yes I would ping red for it if he got his hands on it first (The ruck was not won by either team, nor was it over)
2) no. Neither can dig for it. As ruck is not clearly won by either team. There is still a potential contest available.
3) I haven't seen your vision so can't say how dangerous any rucking would be, but if the actions I describe are followed then rucking to win the ruck should be ok.
4) no , when there is grey areas (like when is the ball out, and are they bound) and that's open to interpretation then I don't think they're cheating.

Of course what I suggested above is law, but in reality it is not instinct in the game to just leave a ball on the ground that you know you can grab and think about finding someone to bind on to. It's just not going to enter their brain to do that! Also it's not an obvious plain-as-day situation that looks like anyone should be penalised. It looks out to everyone on the sideline! So I think it's one of those situations where you can turn a blind eye on the law a bit and say 'ball is there for a contest, whoever gets it first can have it' and play on.

Mind you we PK an offside player in front of the kicker that instinctively grabs or catches the ball! (They learn slowly when we PK them enough). Perhaps this is a situation where we reeducate the players that a ruck is a ruck and you need to abide by all the ruck laws? If we enforce it then they will learn (maybe?).

RobLev
25-11-14, 09:11
It seems the video is gone, but I understand what you describe because it happens quite a lot at grassroots and particularly juniors. I think WB technically got it correct.
We probably all agree that the ruck was not over. Yes? (And assuming there there wasn't some other illegal actions such as collapsing the ruck etc).

This is where I disagree; the ball has left the ruck when McCaw grabs it - just as clearly as if one or other team had rucked over it.

For me, it should have been PK advantage for the ABs for the collapse of the ruck by two Welshmen; one who executes a saddle roll on the remaining AB in the ruck, and his team-mate who helps the collapse on its way from the side. It is that illegal action that ends the ruck and exposes the ball to be played.


Therefore although ball is there to be played technically nobody is permitted to handle the ball in the ruck.
So what are they supposed to do? It was explained to me thus (by an ex super rugby referee), that obviously anyone whose coming into the ruck to play at the ball is therefore wanting to 'join the ruck'. That law states

(b)A player joining a ruck must bind on a team-mate or an opponent, using the whole arm. The bind must either precede, or be simultaneous with, contact with any other part of the body of the player joining the ruck.
Therefore to legally gain possession of the ball, Mccaw needed to find a team mate, bind on to him and step over the ball. The ruck is then over as ball is past their hindmost feet and the next kiwi can grab it (even if the ball doesn't move, the ruck now has moved past the ball). Alternatively mccaw should have waited that extra second and bound onto the red 4 and then drove him back past the ball. Again the ball is now out of the ruck and can be played with hands.
Now to me this would apply to either team wanting to gain legal possession.
Therefore by law I would answer your questions
1) yes if I was going to ping black for that, then yes I would ping red for it if he got his hands on it first (The ruck was not won by either team, nor was it over)
2) no. Neither can dig for it. As ruck is not clearly won by either team. There is still a potential contest available.
3) I haven't seen your vision so can't say how dangerous any rucking would be, but if the actions I describe are followed then rucking to win the ruck should be ok.
4) no , when there is grey areas (like when is the ball out, and are they bound) and that's open to interpretation then I don't think they're cheating.

Of course what I suggested above is law, but in reality it is not instinct in the game to just leave a ball on the ground that you know you can grab and think about finding someone to bind on to. It's just not going to enter their brain to do that! Also it's not an obvious plain-as-day situation that looks like anyone should be penalised. It looks out to everyone on the sideline! So I think it's one of those situations where you can turn a blind eye on the law a bit and say 'ball is there for a contest, whoever gets it first can have it' and play on.

...

I'm sorry, but I cannot see why your idea that you go looking for someone to reform the ruck and then push him over the ball is an improvement. A ruck ends successfully when the ball leaves it, according to Law 16.6.

Browner
25-11-14, 10:11
This is where I disagree; the ball has left the ruck when McCaw grabs it - just as clearly as if one or other team had rucked over it.

For me, it should have been PK advantage for the ABs for the collapse of the ruck by two Welshmen; one who executes a saddle roll on the remaining AB in the ruck, and his team-mate who helps the collapse on its way from the side. It is that illegal action that ends the ruck and exposes the ball to be played.



I'm sorry, but I cannot see why your idea that you go looking for someone to reform the ruck and then push him over the ball is an improvement. A ruck ends successfully when the ball leaves it, according to Law 16.6.

But the ball never left that ruck, it kinda remained in the same position that it occupied when the ruck formed over it, & that ruck never ended - it collapsed.

There is only one successful ending to a ruck (aside from over the goal line) as per 16.6, and collapsing isn't it.

At elite level the collapse might well be being ignored (!) But none of the conditions of 'leaving' have happened ..... Least this is the interpretation that was seemingly applied by WB.

menace
25-11-14, 11:11
This is where I disagree; the ball has left the ruck when McCaw grabs it - just as clearly as if one or other team had rucked over it.

For me, it should have been PK advantage for the ABs for the collapse of the ruck by two Welshmen; one who executes a saddle roll on the remaining AB in the ruck, and his team-mate who helps the collapse on its way from the side. It is that illegal action that ends the ruck and exposes the ball to be played.



I'm sorry, but I cannot see why your idea that you go looking for someone to reform the ruck and then push him over the ball is an improvement. A ruck ends successfully when the ball leaves it, according to Law 16.6.

I have finally found a snippet of the ruck in question. I will agree with you that Wales had collapsed the ruck and the 2nd Wales player went off his feet IN the ruck. Should be PK to NZ. That's where WB was wrong.

However in my other response I did say ignore this illegality if it occurred and I was assuming the ruck all fell down legally and so I was answering Ian's call for not just this specific case but a holistic approach, and in particular relating to players leaving the ruck as opposed to the ball leaving the ruck.

By your own words of the law the ruck doesn't end until the ball leaves the ruck, therefore you can't put hand on the ball until the ruck is over (also a ruck law). So I disagree with you saying the ruck has ended because of the Wales players illegal action (obviously WB didn't deem them illegal!) so Mccaw grabbing the ball in the ruck is not ending the ruck legally either. Ie you can't end the ruck by putting hands into the ruck to get the ball?? (caveat: except we give licence to SH when the ruck is clearly won).

Therefore WB saw the ruck as not ended, and so when this has occured there has to be a way to end the ruck by getting the ball to leave the ruck (successfully). It was my solution that I backed up in law to provide that means. I didn't say it was better or an improvement, I just proposed it was a legal way. You don't agree and that's fine.
So for mine, and as I said, technically the ruck has not ended when people leave the ruck leaving

Ian_Cook
25-11-14, 12:11
I think ruck formation and ending is one of the areas that is in serious need of a clean up.

It is ludicrous that we have a ruck, then all the players go off their feet, and the ball is on the ground, in plain view but we still have a ruck.

A maul ends when the ball is on the ground, why not have the ruck end when the players are on the ground? I suggest....

16.7 UNSUCCESSFUL END TO A RUCK
(d) A ruck ends unsuccessfully when there is no longer at least one player who was in the ruck from either team on their feet over the ball

This would create a strong incentive for players in the ruck to stay on their feet.

► while the contest is still on, neither team will want to end the ruck by going off their feet as they will risk exposing the ball to the opposition fetchers

► if you have won the ball, you will want to stay on your feet for the same reason

► if you have lost the ball and try to bring the opposing rucker down, you will be PK for collapsing the ruck.

This would put an end to the saddle roll. It would also mean that the way to win the ruck contest is to commit superior numbers and push the opposition off the ball... what a novel concept :sarc:

menace
25-11-14, 12:11
Or just outlaw the saddle roll and more rigorously enforce this

Players in a ruck must endeavour to stay on their feet.


:shrug:

RobLev
25-11-14, 14:11
But the ball never left that ruck, it kinda remained in the same position that it occupied when the ruck formed over it, & that ruck never ended - it collapsed.

There is only one successful ending to a ruck (aside from over the goal line) as per 16.6, and collapsing isn't it.

At elite level the collapse might well be being ignored (!) But none of the conditions of 'leaving' have happened ..... Least this is the interpretation that was seemingly applied by WB.

How does the "classic" ruck, where the tackler and tackled player roll away, and two groups of players, remaining on their feet, contest the ball ending with one group pushing the other so far away that the ball, which has not moved throughout, is left behind, end? It seems to me that it must end when the ball no longer has any bodies over it - it has at that point left the ruck, even if it never moved.

Ignoring the illegality perpetrated by the Welsh, what you are suggesting is that the fact that various players are still on the floor around the ball changes the position. Why?

None of the conditions for an unsuccessful end to the ruck have occurred, or can occur now, either; the ball isn't unplayable, nor has it failed to emerge, nor has one team clearly won the ball.

On your interpretation, therefore, ignoring the illegality of the collapse, the ball is now in a state that it cannot be played by anyone unless and until opponents get together and push one another off the ball. What if the defenders decide that they won't engage? Are you really going to leave the ball sitting there in plain view until someone decides to cover it up again?

Ian_Cook
25-11-14, 19:11
Or just outlaw the saddle roll and more rigorously enforce this

Players in a ruck must endeavour to stay on their feet.


:shrug:

This does not address the issue of there still being a ruck when the conditions for a ruck (two players over the ball in close contact) no longer exist.


On your interpretation, therefore, ignoring the illegality of the collapse, the ball is now in a state that it cannot be played by anyone unless and until opponents get together and push one another off the ball. What if the defenders decide that they won't engage? Are you really going to leave the ball sitting there in plain view until someone decides to cover it up again?

The only legal option open to either team here (and a risky one ) was to use feet. The problem in this case was that players were on the ground either side of the ball, which was also on the ground, so a player using their feet would somehow have to rake the ball back over top of the player in the ground. The chance of them not "tagging" the player on the ground would be very slim. One could argue that the player on the ground would then be PK for not rolling away, but why encourage this situation to develop when the easiest thing is have the ruck end and allow the quickest player to pick it up?

menace
25-11-14, 22:11
This does not address the issue of there still being a ruck when the conditions for a ruck (two players over the ball in close contact) no longer exist.



The only legal option open to either team here (and a risky one ) was to use feet. The problem in this case was that players were on the ground either side of the ball, which was also on the ground, so a player using their feet would somehow have to rake the ball back over top of the player in the ground. The chance of them not "tagging" the player on the ground would be very slim. One could argue that the player on the ground would then be PK for not rolling away, but why encourage this situation to develop when the easiest thing is have the ruck end and allow the quickest player to pick it up?

I guess my point Ian was that if everyone stayed on their feet then it is more likely that there would be a ruck with players on their feet, and we wouldn't have to be concerned about a ruck without players on their feet. You're right it doesn't eliminate the issue entirely and it may still happen.

roblev - I can understand why you're struggling to understand the interpretation. But the laws are not clear enough to say that the ruck leaving the ball means the ruck is ended, only that the ball must leave the ruck. A bit like a maul continues to exist even if all defenders voluntarily leave the maul and so you don't have the same conditions as what started the maul. But it is said to still be a maul even though it doesn't look like a maul anymore. Hence this discussion, as Ian has suggested we need law clarity as to deal with the similar situation when everyone off their feet have left the ruck.

RobLev
25-11-14, 23:11
...

roblev - I can understand why you're struggling to understand the interpretation. But the laws are not clear enough to say that the ruck leaving the ball means the ruck is ended, only that the ball must leave the ruck. A bit like a maul continues to exist even if all defenders voluntarily leave the maul and so you don't have the same conditions as what started the maul. But it is said to still be a maul even though it doesn't look like a maul anymore. Hence this discussion, as Ian has suggested we need law clarity as to deal with the similar situation when everyone off their feet have left the ruck.

I can see where you're coming from; but look at my comment#22 re the "classic" ruck. Why does the presence of random bodies scattered on the ground around the ball change the interpretation of 16.6; in both cases, the ruck has left the ball, but you seem to be saying that the "classic" ruck is different.

menace
26-11-14, 01:11
Roblev - I guess I simply refer you back to my post #16. I don't think I am saying it's different for a 'classic' ruck ( but perhaps I'm thick today and not quite understanding what you are after?) . Please remember I also did say

"Of course what I suggested above is law, but in reality it is not instinct in the game to just leave a ball on the ground that you know you can grab and think about finding someone to bind on to. It's just not going to enter their brain to do that! Also it's not an obvious plain-as-day situation that looks like anyone should be penalised. It looks out to everyone on the sideline! So I think it's one of those situations where you can turn a blind eye on the law a bit and say 'ball is there for a contest, whoever gets it first can have it' and play on. "

Perhaps maybe is where you think I'm saying to treat the classic different? I think what I'm saying is that under the 'classic' ruck scenario you pose, that I believe it's still 'technically' a ruck, but could be treated as ruck ended because that's what it looks like. (And hence Ian's suggestion to simply make it clear in the laws that it should be treated as it's ended).

In essence this is a lottery for the player when this happens, as they may or may not be PKd for it. That's not a good situation.

irishref
26-11-14, 10:11
I see lots of illegal activity from both flanks at scrumtime. Engaging with/pushing/pulling opponents, not fully bound, aiding & abetting the +90 degree wheel.

Browner
26-11-14, 11:11
How does the "classic" ruck, where the tackler and tackled player roll away, and two groups of players, remaining on their feet, contest the ball ending with one group pushing the other so far away that the ball, which has not moved throughout, is left behind, end? It seems to me that it must end when the ball no longer has any bodies over it - it has at that point left the ruck, even if it never moved.

Ignoring the illegality perpetrated by the Welsh, what you are suggesting is that the fact that various players are still on the floor around the ball changes the position. Why?

None of the conditions for an unsuccessful end to the ruck have occurred, or can occur now, either; the ball isn't unplayable, nor has it failed to emerge, nor has one team clearly won the ball.

On your interpretation, therefore, ignoring the illegality of the collapse, the ball is now in a state that it cannot be played by anyone unless and until opponents get together and push one another off the ball. What if the defenders decide that they won't engage? Are you really going to leave the ball sitting there in plain view until someone decides to cover it up again?

The "CR" ends when the ball emerges ( 9s seemingly licensed to remove) but if its surrounded by bodies (that haven't moved away-PK?) Then its an unplayable ruck &16.7 applies.

I agree the ruck is looking a shambles because of the way supporting players willingly saddle roll or make no attempt to stay on feet, and its no surprise that ruck law (that before clarification 4\2014 !! - used to expect on feet contests) is struggling to deal with all eventualities caused by the current shambles.

Notwithstanding the above, if jackals 'supports' ..RMc ...can dive back/handle/restart grabbing the ball ( which presumably means that a new tackle can take place or a new maul develop) whilst the bodies are still on the ground all around the ball, then I forsee a new mess of a pile developing. So whilst WB interpretation isn't perfect, it's likely the best available at the moment , until the issue is resolved by WR law outlawing off feet rucking again!!

Dixie
26-11-14, 12:11
16.3 (f) A player rucking for the ball must not intentionally ruck players on the ground. A player rucking for the ball must try to step over players on the ground and must not intentionally step on them. A player rucking must do so near the ball.
Not good enough? How would you reword it?

I would eliminate the inherent conflict with the Definition, under which almost all ruckers in most games at all levels are not actually rucking:

Players are rucking when they are in a ruck and using their feet to try to win or keep possession of the ball, without being guilty of foul play.

So if I look at the two pictures (of the start of a ruck, and a mature ruck), none of the players involved are actually using their feet to address the ball - but while they thus fail to meet the definition, they are clearly rucking.

Dixie
26-11-14, 13:11
In another thread there are several insinuations that 7s cheat. I'd like to hear the accusations in more detail. Why do you think they are cheaters? In what manner do they cheat?

Skilled operators are adept at most or all of the following:

a) jackalling for the ball with forearms on the ground (i.e. not supporting their weight on their feet) and/or shoulders below hips.
b) reversing into a tackle zone from the side, before impinging on the ball from what looks like an acceptable position (i.e. in front of the gate)
c) when tackle-assist, not fully releasing the tackled player before jackalling for the ball
d) entering a tackle zone as "plane landing" rather than "plane taking off", hitting the deck momentarily then "reloading" to take part in the ruck
e) having been saddle-rolled, or otherwise gone off their feet, retaining hold of the ball in the ruck until ref calls Hands Away
f) When the ball is lost at a scrum, relaxing the bind so it is no more than a hand on the lock (or prop!) while creeping forward toward the oppo hindmost foot
g) when wheeling an oppo scrum, grappling with the oppo flanker
h) after wheeling an oppo scrum, pivoting around his prop's shoulder to kick at the ball to disrupt the oppo #9

And that's not even to mention the flexible approach to the offside line! There are myriad other examples.

OB..
26-11-14, 15:11
I would eliminate the inherent conflict with the Definition, under which almost all ruckers in most games at all levels are not actually rucking:

Players are rucking when they are in a ruck and using their feet to try to win or keep possession of the ball, without being guilty of foul play.

So if I look at the two pictures (of the start of a ruck, and a mature ruck), none of the players involved are actually using their feet to address the ball - but while they thus fail to meet the definition, they are clearly rucking.
The problem is simply that "ruck" as a verb has two senses: (1) to use the feet on the ball (legal) or a player (illegal); (2) to take part in a ruck (by binding on ).

ChrisR
26-11-14, 15:11
Dixie, thanx for returning this thread to its original purpose. I wish that moderators would move the hi-jack content to appropriate parts of the forum. I think the situation described by Ian and the question of access to the ball in a disintegrated ruck is worthy of its own thread under the tackle/ruck section.

The reason I started the thread is because I think that 7s in general, and one in particular, get maligned as 'cheats' without the accuser identifying the crimes. I think that the spotlight falls on them because they, as flankers, are the principal actors in tackles/rucks. Are they more guilty of the sins you list (a thru e) than others? Methinks only because of greater opportunity and, this is critical, it is in their job description. They have to challenge for the ball.

The one frequent sin that is theirs alone is premature unbinding from the scrum. Not too subtle a form of cheating.

Browner
30-11-14, 01:11
I did think the same thing at the time. I understood WB's reasoning and in fact when RC grabbed the ball there was some inner voice that said "that is seen as ruck still happening despite everyone has disappeared, so he'll get pinged". But I did then think... who else was going to be able to get the ball? I can only think that WB would have required somebody on their feet coming from behind the back foot (aka players on the floor) to walk over/past the ball for it to then become "ball out". ??

Obviously i have no direct link to WB's mind, so this is purely conjecture :-) It was certainly bloody messy.

didds
Today, I spoke with one of the back rowers at leic tigers v wasps re: this subject, who was of this opinion........

IF the clearing out team decide to roll /drive the jackler off his feet, and in doing so go off their feet, then it's their tough luck that the jacklers '2nd to arrive' teammate then gets his hands on the ball.

When I the suggested that this '2nd' player might be then tackled or mauled and it could end up as a pile up mess, he could only shrug & dismiss the notion that it might happen, under the belief that he'd be too quick !

Not sure if this adds or detracts from the discussion, but I thought I'd share....