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Thread: Blocker at a Ruck

      
  1. #11

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    Default Re: Blocker at a Ruck

    9.3 A player must not intentionally prevent an opponent from tackling or attempting to tackle the ball-carrier.
    9.4 A player must not intentionally prevent an opponent from having the opportunity to play the ball, other than by competing for possession.

    Last edited by OB..; 6 Days Ago at 12:09.
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  2. #12

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    Default Re: Blocker at a Ruck

    Quote Originally Posted by OB.. View Post
    9.3 A player must not intentionally prevent an opponent from tackling or attempting to tackle the ball-carrier.
    9.4 A player must not intentionally prevent an opponent from having the opportunity to play the ball, other than by competing for possession.

    Not sure what you are trying to say here. Are you saying that a player has to get out of the way of an opponent?
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  3. #13

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    Default Re: Blocker at a Ruck

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian_Cook View Post
    Not sure what you are trying to say here. Are you saying that a player has to get out of the way of an opponent?
    Yes.

    An earlier version said the player must not "move or stand" in the way. At one time teams tried to place a couple of players in front of the one going to catch the kick. That was stopped.
    He trudg’d along unknowing what he sought,
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  4. #14
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    Default Re: Blocker at a Ruck

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian_Cook View Post
    If a member of the opposing team tries to get to the scrum-half and runs into the blocker, tough. The blocker does not have evaporate into thin air or to get out of his way. However, if the opposing player tries to run around the blocker, and the blocker moves to prevent him, then that is obstruction.
    So ‘blocker’ is onside at the ruck, in front of the SH, if I’m imagining this correctly, then ball is passed behind to the SH, so he’s now in front of the ball carrier in open play?

    I would consider penalising this, I would have to see it, and it would possibly depend on the distance between the would be tackler / ‘blocker’ and the SH but over a short distance that could certainly be argued as ‘preventing the opposition from playing as they wished’ or ‘interfering with play’, I would at minimum be having a word

  5. #15

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    Default Re: Blocker at a Ruck

    When I watched the Lions series I saw this a lot, but on watching in slow motion the ‘blocking’ player was usually behind the back foot of the ruck, but in front of the kicker. So not offside at the ruck, but technically offside in open play. I would not blow unless they actively move to block a player attempting to charge the kick. If they hold their ground I have no problem with it.

    I warn players in games I referee not to stand in an offside position at the ruck (i.e. ahead of the back foot) unless they are bound properly. A hand on a player is not bound.

  6. #16

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    Default Re: Blocker at a Ruck

    Does it change anything if the blockers are bound to the ruck, forming a wall?

  7. #17

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    Default Re: Blocker at a Ruck

    Quote Originally Posted by OB.. View Post
    Yes.

    An earlier version said the player must not "move or stand" in the way. At one time teams tried to place a couple of players in front of the one going to catch the kick. That was stopped.
    Quote Originally Posted by Flish View Post
    So ‘blocker’ is onside at the ruck, in front of the SH, if I’m imagining this correctly, then ball is passed behind to the SH, so he’s now in front of the ball carrier in open play?

    I would consider penalising this, I would have to see it, and it would possibly depend on the distance between the would be tackler / ‘blocker’ and the SH but over a short distance that could certainly be argued as ‘preventing the opposition from playing as they wished’ or ‘interfering with play’, I would at minimum be having a word
    The point I am trying to make here is, if there were no blockers, but the ball comes back to the SH for the kick and other SH is blocked by the players in the ruck, are they not also "front of the ball carrier in open play?" If not, why not. Do they have to get out of the way? If not, why not.

    And as ThePercy correctly asks "Does it change anything if the blockers are bound to the ruck, forming a wall?"
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  8. #18
    Rugby Club Member Flish's Avatar

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    Default Re: Blocker at a Ruck

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian_Cook View Post
    The point I am trying to make here is, if there were no blockers, but the ball comes back to the SH for the kick and other SH is blocked by the players in the ruck, are they not also "front of the ball carrier in open play?" If not, why not. Do they have to get out of the way? If not, why not.

    And as ThePercy correctly asks "Does it change anything if the blockers are bound to the ruck, forming a wall?"
    Do we? No, not by convention, same for if bound (properly) to the ruck, again by convention. Could we? As the laws are written, could be interpreted that way, so we could? - would be a pretty crap 'gotcha' ridden game though. In reverse, is there anything in law that says we shouldn't penalise them? Anything that says that they are immune from a penalty?

    Hence my answer above, that I would think about the blocker, his position, any hints as to his intention (subtle moves to block etc), and penalise if I felt appropriate, almost certainly have a chat. Comes back to rewarding positive play and not encouraging negative play, I want a positive game where players are free to play and do positive things, deliberately blocking doesn't fall into that category for me. He's certainly not got some magic get out of jail free card IMO

  9. #19

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    Default Re: Blocker at a Ruck

    Quote Originally Posted by Flish View Post
    Do we? No, not by convention, same for if bound (properly) to the ruck, again by convention. Could we? As the laws are written, could be interpreted that way, so we could? - would be a pretty crap 'gotcha' ridden game though. In reverse, is there anything in law that says we shouldn't penalise them? Anything that says that they are immune from a penalty?

    Hence my answer above, that I would think about the blocker, his position, any hints as to his intention (subtle moves to block etc), and penalise if I felt appropriate, almost certainly have a chat. Comes back to rewarding positive play and not encouraging negative play, I want a positive game where players are free to play and do positive things, deliberately blocking doesn't fall into that category for me. He's certainly not got some magic get out of jail free card IMO
    Correct assessment IMO, but of course, you need to be careful not to assume you know what the players are thinking.

    How may times do you see players in that exact same position (behind the HMP and to the left or right of the ruck) receive a pass for a short drive around the fringe to set up another ruck, or ready to support a player who takes the ball from the ruck and skirts the fringe to attempts a line break? Answer. A lot more of often then you see them there protecting the kicker.

    I go back to my original assessment. If the player is simply standing there, he's fine. If he makes ANY move to get in the path of an opponent once he is in front of the ball, he's obstructing. I do not subscribe to the idea that a player has to get out of the way of an opponent, never have, never will and its not a law of the game anyway.
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  10. #20

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    Default Re: Blocker at a Ruck

    I might not like the tactic but I think it is a legal exploitation of the laws providing the player doesnt move. I think it is much more of a liberty allowing the scrum half to walk beyond the back foot of a caterpillar and dribble the ball to the back.

    I also think there is a significant difference between the blocker stood at the back of a ruck, who was onside and hasnt moved and two players in open play following a kick off running to a point at which they can block the opposition. That seems to me the very definition of obstruction.

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