4 ways to win a lineout without jumping

What should you do if the opposition are just too good in the air? Or if you don’t have any jumpers? Instead of throwing the ball several feet above people’s heads, some ingenuity will be called for…


Arguably the oldest non-jump in the book – just throw the ball at chest height to the front player.

  • Best used when the immediate opponent isn’t facing the thrower.
  • To add to the subterfuge, the catcher should face away from the thrower initially, then turn to take the catch.
  • Use movement in the lineout to create space near the 5m line. The fewer opponents to disrupt the move, the better.
  • The ball still has to be thrown in straight and travel 5m.

Attacking options from this throw are probably limited to a tramline handling move between the catcher, thrower and lineout receiver, or a set maul. A drop to the ground for a ruck is also possible, with support from those same players.


Another old ‘un. The rear lineout player runs back to take a long throw that goes beyond the end of the lineout.

  • Use movement in the lineout to try to lose the last defender.
  • Lineout “dancing” could send a mid-line player running past the end man, so he himself can run onto the long throw.
  • Throwers need to be able to throw the distance and straight.

Options from this ploy are handlingorientated. There’s likely to be little support from lineout team-mates aside from the 9 due to the distance between them and their own efforts to deceive the opposition. Midfield backs are 10m away so not immediately available.

But this option enables you to cross the gain line easily, and provides quick ball for a back-line attack with a simple offload to the 9 following around.

Alternatively, the long throw could be caught by a back who runs forward. For this the throw has to longer still, testing the thrower’s ability.

It’s risky but at defensive 5m lineouts the back line only has to cover half the distance of their opponents, and they can mitigate some of the risk by getting other backs to provide close support.


A variation on the front-man option. This time the second lineout player leans forward over the front crouched team-mate and catches the ball at chest to head height.

  • Trick opponents into jumping to make this an easy win. Do everything to jump except actually leave the ground and just lean forward.
  • The hooker’s throw must still be straight and travel 5m.

The attacking option here is usually to maul. If done well, you can catch the front opponents unable to defend immediately as they complete their redundant jump. A front peel is an alternative.


The reduced numbers creates space and means less chance of error as there are fewer things that must come together.

  • It relies on speed so that the opposition have no time to think or respond appropriately.
  • Either a lineout player or the receiver (usually the 9) should be in space, depending on whether the opposition react to the movement.
  • Opposition infringements will be easier for the referee to spot.
Share this
Follow us