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Thread: Refuse to engage, pull rucking opponent off feet

      
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    Default Refuse to engage, pull rucking opponent off feet

    Would value the thoughts of the hive mind on the following situation I encountered last week:

    1. Red ball carrier tackled
    2. Blue tackler releases and moves far enough away to not be penalised, though slow to feet
    3. Red support arrives, adopts rucking position over tackle zone, though no blue defenders have currently arrived
    4. First blue defender arrives, stops sharply about a half-metre short of red support, does not bind to create a formal ruck, but puts one hand on red's collar and pulls him forward.
    5. Red, expecting impact and a ruck, has his bodyweight forward and so tumbles over easily.
    6. Blue then steps in to breakdown as if to ruck, and he and arriving blue 9 begin complaining about red being off their feet


    All of the above, of course, takes place over the course of a couple of seconds, max. In the moment, everything blue did looked wrong, so I penalised him. But I got asked (amicably) about it afterwards, and felt less certain.

    He didn't bind (just a hand grab, not a full arm), so couldn't be said to be rucking - and without a ruck, his collar tug could be considered to be playing an opponent without the ball. Or even if I had interpreted it as a ruck, his action would seem to be collapsing a ruck.

    Right or wrong?
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    Default Re: Refuse to engage, pull rucking opponent off feet

    Pablo

    You don't need to make a full bind to form a ruck, just be in contact.
    So when Blue grabbed Red's collar a ruck had formed.

    DEFINITIONS
    A ruck is a phase of play where one or more players from each team, who are on
    their feet, in physical contact, close around the ball on the ground. Open play has
    ended.

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    Default Re: Refuse to engage, pull rucking opponent off feet

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil E View Post
    Pablo

    You don't need to make a full bind to form a ruck, just be in contact.
    So when Blue grabbed Red's collar a ruck had formed.

    DEFINITIONS
    A ruck is a phase of play where one or more players from each team, who are on
    their feet, in physical contact, close around the ball on the ground. Open play has
    ended.
    but in a two-man ruck is it OK to pull your opponent over by the collar ?

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    Default Re: Refuse to engage, pull rucking opponent off feet

    Quote Originally Posted by crossref View Post
    but in a two-man ruck is it OK to pull your opponent over by the collar ?
    No it's not ok, but I would manage it rather than penalise it......unless it becomes material.

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    Default Re: Refuse to engage, pull rucking opponent off feet

    In the situation you'd described, I'd probably ping blue for asking for a penalty.

    If they didn't ask, though, the first instance I'd put down to incompetence, but ATP if it carried on.

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    Default Re: Refuse to engage, pull rucking opponent off feet

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil E View Post
    Pablo

    You don't need to make a full bind to form a ruck, just be in contact.
    So when Blue grabbed Red's collar a ruck had formed.

    DEFINITIONS
    A ruck is a phase of play where one or more players from each team, who are on
    their feet, in physical contact, close around the ball on the ground. Open play has
    ended.
    (devils advocate mode)

    In the OP's description have they physical contact around the ball? one is standing over it waiting. the other is all but standing probably, and no more than an arms length plus oppo torso length from the ball, and just pulls him over. IIRC all the nice pictures in the laws have players in a quasi scrum formation over the ball, not ignoring it, stabding a small distance from it and doing something else.



    didds
    Last edited by didds; 08-02-17 at 16:02.

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    Default Re: Refuse to engage, pull rucking opponent off feet

    Blue 9 needs to shut the hell up, and quickly.

    It's a ruck. If they do it once, have a quiet word. Do it a second and it's a PK for collapsing the ruck.
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    Default Re: Refuse to engage, pull rucking opponent off feet

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil E View Post
    No it's not ok, but I would manage it rather than penalise it......unless it becomes material.
    this could be tricky to manage because you now have a red player on the ground on the wrong side of the ball, through no fault of his own.

    Do you ask him to roll away? That seems a bit unfair.

    As blue players now arrive, the red player is likely to get stepped on. So you could blow it up as unplayable but, again, that seems unfair to red.

    I think I'd be inclined to penalise blue immediately.

    It is a similar situation where the red jackler is finely balanced as he attempts to pick up the ball. A small amount of weight from arriving blue player forces him to over-balance and go to ground. Is there an offence here?
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    Default Re: Refuse to engage, pull rucking opponent off feet

    I agree with PhilE. The moment the Blue player puts his hand on the Red player over the ball, he forms a ruck, and if he drags the Red player forward over the ball onto the ground on his side he is collapsing it. I think he is trying to buy a PK against Red for sealing off or going off his feet at the tackle.
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    Default Re: Refuse to engage, pull rucking opponent off feet

    I think the real issue is that this is not something that the law makers ever envisaged so we are left trying to interpret the new action.

    Its probabl;y not a very positive action as a general rule becasue as others have said above it leaves a rather messy aftermath.

    But we also need toc onsider scenarios such as

    * arriving red player goes to pick it up and having put hands on the ball is then tackled to ground imediately adjacent/over the previously tackled player. Now you've a pile of bodies all around the ball

    * arriving red player picks up ball, and is grabbed by blue. red and blue teammates bind on and maul is formed, over the originally tackled player

    * as above but the maul naturally collapses - now you've a pile of bodies lieing over and around the ball and the original tackled player

    * tackled player lays ball back and immediately red support dives on it ~90 cm from tackled player. Now you've two bodies on the floor with the ball, one between the ball+red and blue oppo. original tackled player can;t get out of the way in time before blue arrive and try to get to 2nd red + ball. Its not a dive on the ball as it emerges from a ruck (!) as no ruck has yet formed.

    etc

    didds

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