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Thread: Advancing Ruck Line

      
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    Rugby Club Member Rich_NL's Avatar

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    Default Advancing Ruck Line

    Watching the ENG-NZ game yesterday answering questions from a friend who is new to rugby, there was one I couldn't really answer...

    Red tackles blue, blue get men over the ball, red don't contest after the first contact that sets the ruck. Blue players pile in to the back, as they do to protect the box kicker.

    Is there anything stopping the players at the front marching forward, as long as players at the back keep the ball in the ruck (or form a conga line) - thereby driving the offside line back a few metres? I can't think of a reason why not.

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    Default Re: Advancing Ruck Line

    I've just looked through tackle laws and can't find any reason why this can't happen (theoretically anyway).
    Incidentally, the "conga line" in question would not be a ruck as RED have not engaged, but a supported tackle as defined in 14.10.

    Offside lines are created at a tackle when at least one player is on their feet and over the ball, which is on the ground. Each team’s offside line runs parallel to the goal line through the hindmost point of any player in the tackle or on their feet over the ball. If that point is on or behind the goal line, the offside line for that team is the goal line.
    Pete

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    Default Re: Advancing Ruck Line

    In the op red formed the ruck, but then withdrew , so it's still a ruck

    If it's a ruck I don't see why blue couldn't move forward, bound as a ruck, dribbling the ball

    On the other hand if it's a tackle with offside lines that might be judged as obstruction (?)

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    Rugby Club Member Rich_NL's Avatar

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    Default Re: Advancing Ruck Line

    Good point, that's not clear. I suppose once your back foot is past the tackled player you're past the last BC.

    I was thinking the conga line approach more to defend the box kick or mitigate a rush defence with an extra metre or two than to dribble upfield - you protect your 9 and drive the defensive line back.

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    Default Re: Advancing Ruck Line

    So like, you leave the ball where it is, and advance forward, pushing the oppo offside line back... With more players joining at the back to make sure the ball doesn't become exposed

    Interesting

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    Default Re: Advancing Ruck Line

    Difficult one, I assume blue ball carrier has released and rolled away and is completely out of there (leaving multiple blue players on feet)? Else you could argue as they march the 'not ruck / tackle thing upfield) a penalty to red for not rolling / releasing as needed.

    Next question is does the 'tackle area' move with the blue players? If not (and why would it) then if the ball moves forward with the conga line you could argue tackle over as ball has left the tackle area (and then potentially obstruction).

    I think you'd we wanting a large cry of 'use it now' (similar to the non engaging non maul at a line out scenario) and trust they comply, else what? Obstruction (Justification in Law?)? Or maybe unplayable so Scrum Blue? Either way we're reaching and nit picking.

    Scrum Blue and interesting discussion in the bar for me probably!

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    Default Re: Advancing Ruck Line

    Quote Originally Posted by crossref View Post
    In the op red formed the ruck, but then withdrew , so it's still a ruck

    If it's a ruck I don't see why blue couldn't move forward, bound as a ruck, dribbling the ball

    On the other hand if it's a tackle with offside lines that might be judged as obstruction (?)
    This is not now allowed as kicking the ball in the ruck is forbidden, you must heel it. A bit strange for us older players as what is now a ruck used to be called a loose scrum and Scotland in particular had a style of play that involved said group of players kicking and chasing the ball to the cries of "feet, feet, Scotland!" Nowadays most rucks have so many folk off their feet the chance of moving forward with the ball is limited or non-existent.

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    Default Re: Advancing Ruck Line

    Good point.
    Is it illegal to kick the ball in the ruck, or to kick it out of the ruck

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    Default Re: Advancing Ruck Line

    Quote Originally Posted by crossref View Post
    Good point.
    Is it illegal to kick the ball in the ruck, or to kick it out of the ruck
    Good question - laws say
    Players must not: Kick, or attempt to kick, the ball out of a ruck.


    So a dribble doesnt really count as "attempting to kick the ball out of the ruck" does it ?

    If its not near a player on the ground, this means it cannot be dangerous so should we allow a dribble here ?

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    Default Re: Advancing Ruck Line

    I don't think could allow a moving, dribbling, tackle , could we
    Although the Law doesn't seem to prohibit it .
    Hmm .. maybe we could !

    On balance I think that the best answer is to treat it similar to the scenario where the oppo at a lineout take care to not create a mail .. and hope that WR soon issue a guideline to that effect
    Last edited by crossref; 12-11-18 at 18:11.

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