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Thread: Counter-rucking after the ruck has become a pile of bodies on the floor

      
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    Default Re: Counter-rucking after the ruck has become a pile of bodies on the floor

    Quote Originally Posted by Taff View Post
    I usually hate the expression, but in this case it may be a case of "Managing it". Eg . "Use it 9. Blue - leave it alone please."

    This is the option that I went for on the day. "Blue" decided to not listen, and came flying through anyway. At this point I gave a penalty to the SH, as Blue had gone against my instructions. I justified it later (to myself) that he didn't bind into the ruck and we were still playing the laws of the ruck.

    Thanks all for you contributions, good to gain some outside advice.

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    Default Re: Counter-rucking after the ruck has become a pile of bodies on the floor

    .....and a belated welcome to the forum.

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    Default Re: Counter-rucking after the ruck has become a pile of bodies on the floor

    Quote Originally Posted by mpg286 View Post
    Thanks all for you contributions, good to gain some outside advice.
    Coming late to this party, and recognising that the OP is asking for advice as a relative newbie to the art, I think some of the early posts were written with a scenario in mind that is different from the one the OP conjured up for me. I apologise if my take is incorrect, but if it rings true with the OP, then this may help to clarify matters. Otherwise, I'm just wasting everyone's time - apologies again.

    As I envisage the scenario, a ruck has formed and people fall over BUT REMAIN IN SITU. We therefore have a pile of bodies, no-one upright. Good practice says we blow here for the pile up unless the ball is clearly available, in which case we encourage the SH to use it and thereby allow people to extricate themselves. mpg286 has spotted the ball clearly available at the #9's feet, so correctly allows the play to continue.

    Having done so, until the SH makes to distribute, we still have a ruck, even in the absence of "players on their feet in contact above the ball". That means the offside laws apply, as do the provisions for joining the ruck. 16.2(b) is our guide here, in conjunction with the back-foot offside law 16.5(a):

    16.2(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.
    Sanction: Penalty kick


    16.5(a) The offside line. There are two offside lines parallel to the goal lines, one for each team. Each offside line runs through the hindmost foot of the hindmost player in the ruck. If the hindmost foot of the hindmost player is on or behind the goal line, the offside line for the defending team is the goal line.


    The player who engages the SH seems to have come from behind the offside line, walked through the bodies on the ground and then engaged the SH. I see a number of clear PK's here. Firstly, the only way he can breach that back-foot offside line is by legally joining the ruck. To do so, he must bind on a standing player of either team with a full arm (binding on a grounded player requires shoulders below hips). There are no standing players, so he can neither join the ruck nor breach the offside line. Take your pick of PK from 16.2 (illegal joining) or 16.5 (offside). Either way, he never gets near the SH before the loud peep.

    If the player had been a rucker, the situation is less clear. The ruck persists, so he's presumably still a rucker even after falling over. Do we allow him to stand up and continue rucking? And if so, can he just walk through? These areas are not covered by law - we have to divine some sort of solution from established principles. I don't generally see a problem with a rucker whose knee fleetingly hits the ground continuing to ruck if he regains his feet, so I can't state that we shouldn't allow the grounded rucker to get up and carry on. But if there were other standing ruckers to carry on against, we wouldn't allow our man to "swim" through the ruck to get to the SH, and that is the principle I would apply. Once the ruckers are decked with the ball available, the SH will be allowed to distribute unimpeded. If pushed for a rationale I would go with 16.4(d):

    16.4(d) Players on the ground in or near the ruck must try to move away from the ball. These players must not interfere with the ball in the ruck or as it comes out of the ruck.
    Sanction: Penalty kick


    Not entirely clear, but consistent with my overall philosophy.
    Don't feed the pedant!

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    Default Re: Counter-rucking after the ruck has become a pile of bodies on the floor

    Dixie, I agree with your well stated case above if the ball is still within the domain of the original ruck. But what if the ball is behind the 'hind foot'? Isn't the ruck then ended? That is what I imagined as the ball in the OP is at the SH's feet.

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    Default Re: Counter-rucking after the ruck has become a pile of bodies on the floor

    Another fascinating debate over the letter and application of the law at the breakdown.
    I ref a fair bit of youth rugby at the moment and concur with mpg’s observation that this is a common scenario.

    I think that you did the right thing calling blue to leave it and telling red to use it. Blue then challenged and you pinged him. I would do the same. It is about management of the game. Blue cannot impede the red SH, he also cannot handle in the ruck. If ball is out of the ruck then this should be clear, you didn’t think it was, hence telling blue to stay back behind the OS line.

    If the ball was clearly out then blue could come through, or more likely come round, so long as they start behind OS line. If they try it and you don’t think the ball is out you shout to blue to leave it as you did here. You need to make a decision; be clear, confident and consistent. Seems to me that you handled it well and could call on any of 3 or more laws to justify ....without reverting to 6.A.4.a as a ref did at my son’s U16 match on Sunday...”I am the referee! I judge what happened not you!” ...not the best way to win respect.
    Keep smiling!

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    Default Re: Counter-rucking after the ruck has become a pile of bodies on the floor

    Quote Originally Posted by Dixie View Post
    The player who engages the SH seems to have come from behind the offside line, walked through the bodies on the ground and then engaged the SH. I see a number of clear PK's here. Firstly, the only way he can breach that back-foot offside line is by legally joining the ruck. To do so, he must bind on a standing player of either team with a full arm (binding on a grounded player requires shoulders below hips). There are no standing players, so he can neither join the ruck nor breach the offside line. Take your pick of PK from 16.2 (illegal joining) or 16.5 (offside). Either way, he never gets near the SH before the loud peep.
    .
    Lets take an extreme example (not to be a dick, but to help emphasis a point).

    There is a ruck and everyone falls over as you describe. There is only one player from each side left standing.

    You say they cannot rejoin the ruck unless they bind to someone. So they both have to stand on the offside line on their respective sides of the ruck, neither can breach the offside line unless they are bound, so neither of them can move forward because they cant bind before crossing the offside line.

    Alternatively you are saying two players on the same side can bind to each other and counter ruck, even if no opposition exist, but one player on his own can't?

    Doesn't that seem a little silly?

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    Default Re: Counter-rucking after the ruck has become a pile of bodies on the floor

    again, not being a dick but...

    If everybody is on the ground, how can anybody counter ruck in Dickie's example? There is no-one to contact with.

    didds

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    Default Re: Counter-rucking after the ruck has become a pile of bodies on the floor

    Quote Originally Posted by Dixie View Post
    Coming late to this party, and recognising that the OP is asking for advice as a relative newbie to the art, I think some of the early posts were written with a scenario in mind that is different from the one the OP conjured up for me. I apologise if my take is incorrect, but if it rings true with the OP, then this may help to clarify matters. Otherwise, I'm just wasting everyone's time - apologies again.

    As I envisage the scenario, a ruck has formed and people fall over BUT REMAIN IN SITU. We therefore have a pile of bodies, no-one upright. Good practice says we blow here for the pile up unless the ball is clearly available, in which case we encourage the SH to use it and thereby allow people to extricate themselves. mpg286 has spotted the ball clearly available at the #9's feet, so correctly allows the play to continue.

    Having done so, until the SH makes to distribute, we still have a ruck, even in the absence of "players on their feet in contact above the ball". That means the offside laws apply, as do the provisions for joining the ruck. 16.2(b) is our guide here, in conjunction with the back-foot offside law 16.5(a):

    16.2(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.
    Sanction: Penalty kick


    16.5(a) The offside line. There are two offside lines parallel to the goal lines, one for each team. Each offside line runs through the hindmost foot of the hindmost player in the ruck. If the hindmost foot of the hindmost player is on or behind the goal line, the offside line for the defending team is the goal line.


    The player who engages the SH seems to have come from behind the offside line, walked through the bodies on the ground and then engaged the SH. I see a number of clear PK's here. Firstly, the only way he can breach that back-foot offside line is by legally joining the ruck. To do so, he must bind on a standing player of either team with a full arm (binding on a grounded player requires shoulders below hips). There are no standing players, so he can neither join the ruck nor breach the offside line. Take your pick of PK from 16.2 (illegal joining) or 16.5 (offside). Either way, he never gets near the SH before the loud peep.

    If the player had been a rucker, the situation is less clear. The ruck persists, so he's presumably still a rucker even after falling over. Do we allow him to stand up and continue rucking? And if so, can he just walk through? These areas are not covered by law - we have to divine some sort of solution from established principles. I don't generally see a problem with a rucker whose knee fleetingly hits the ground continuing to ruck if he regains his feet, so I can't state that we shouldn't allow the grounded rucker to get up and carry on. But if there were other standing ruckers to carry on against, we wouldn't allow our man to "swim" through the ruck to get to the SH, and that is the principle I would apply. Once the ruckers are decked with the ball available, the SH will be allowed to distribute unimpeded. If pushed for a rationale I would go with 16.4(d):

    16.4(d) Players on the ground in or near the ruck must try to move away from the ball. These players must not interfere with the ball in the ruck or as it comes out of the ruck.
    Sanction: Penalty kick


    Not entirely clear, but consistent with my overall philosophy.
    Hi Dixie,

    Thank-you for taking the time to write this well detailed and helpful response. Assuming little prior knowledge of rugby laws makes it very easy for me to follow!

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    Default Re: Counter-rucking after the ruck has become a pile of bodies on the floor

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil E View Post
    Lets take an extreme example (not to be a dick, but to help emphasis a point).

    There is a ruck and everyone falls over as you describe. There is only one player from each side left standing.

    You say they cannot rejoin the ruck unless they bind to someone. So they both have to stand on the offside line on their respective sides of the ruck, neither can breach the offside line unless they are bound, so neither of them can move forward because they cant bind before crossing the offside line.

    Alternatively you are saying two players on the same side can bind to each other and counter ruck, even if no opposition exist, but one player on his own can't?

    Doesn't that seem a little silly?
    An interesting point. Again, the laws seem a little flimsy on this:

    (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.


    I read the law as a player joining a ruck must bind onto a team-mate or opponent who is already part of the ruck. I have obviously, rightly or wrongly, added to the wording to try and interpret it. If two players "bind" outside of a ruck, but don't bind onto anyone in the ruck, are they part of the ruck? I would say no.

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    Default Re: Counter-rucking after the ruck has become a pile of bodies on the floor

    Quote Originally Posted by mpg286 View Post
    An interesting point. Again, the laws seem a little flimsy on this:

    (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.


    I read the law as a player joining a ruck must bind onto a team-mate or opponent who is already part of the ruck. I have obviously, rightly or wrongly, added to the wording to try and interpret it. If two players "bind" outside of a ruck, but don't bind onto anyone in the ruck, are they part of the ruck? I would say no.
    I'd say no also.

    Otherwise two players could bind up anywhere on the pitch and create an offside line!

    didds

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