Referees will be asked to be strong on negative player actions. For example, trapping players into the ruck, and first arriving players (the jackler) not aiming to play the ball.
Penalising players with hands on the floor to support body weight.
Off feet: Players are off their feet when any other part of the body is supported by the ground or players on the ground.
On feet: Players are on their feet if no other part of their body is supported by the ground or players on the ground.
Ruck law 15.12: Players must endeavour to remain on their feet throughout the ruck.
These are not, of course, new laws – they all already existed in the law book. These directives then are merely a reminder to all that these areas should be emphasised and acted upon, especially by referees.
With that in mind then, what areas should the community coach be considering? In reality, it’s “more of the same”. These are the laws and areas that players will already be playing to, so nothing needs to change in training. However, a focus on good technique and practice would ensure nobody ends up being penalised through an accident or misunderstanding. Sessions then could include the following to aid this :
As part of a warm-up, or a small link session after that, run a small circuit to develop this area. The RCW article “Core on”, whilst discussing scrummaging, is still valid here, particularly as we are concentrating on the ruck area.
Small-sided games to work on jackle technique and remaining on the feet. A variation of this RCW jackle-tastic game could start with single players jackling the ball, before moving to the game as described, which really develops the key principles of jackling and rucking so as not to become off-feet.
We want players to remain on their feet at the ruck – this RCW session, Bang, Bang, Bang develops this technique.
Finally, a small-sided game to use the techniques honed in these practices in a game-related environment is vital. Dan’s ruck, pass, ruck activity contains such a game and its development.
Including some, if not all, of these areas throughout training sessions can help your players maintain their ruck techniques and minimise any chance of leaking penalties as referees look to implement the areas World Rugby has directed attention to.
A clearer at a ruck must look to go beyond the ball. This not only drives back defenders, it frees up the ball for your scrum half to grab and maintain continuity.
This activity helps players focus not only on clearing the ruck but encourages them to target the most important factor at the breakdown - the ball - and gets them driving beyond it. MORE
Develop your players’ decision making at the post-tackle so they can steal the ball or prevent the ball from being stolen.
By using a points scoring system, the players start to understand the risk and reward elements of going for the ball at the tackle or driving over. MORE
“Core on” will teach players the significance of their core strength and how they can utilise it effectively in the scrum. The exercises replicate some of the movements that will happen in the scrum, so players get used to moving around as they scrummage. MORE
Sometimes it's possible to wear down the opposition with constant pressure. You use multiple rucks until a gap opens. At the top level, this can last beyond 10 rucks and sometimes over 20. It is unlikely that your team will have as many consecutive rucks but you can replicate constant ruck, pass, ruck situations with this session. MORE
We have plenty of tag resources on this site, and I’m keen to ensure they can easily be upgraded into full sessions. Perhaps they won’t be doing much rucking, but there’s plenty else to learn from tag beginnings. MORE
In essence, I wanted to create defensive games which would force attacking teams to realign with more depth. The rewards were aimed squarely at the defence. If they were successful, they would either gain the ball, or in the case of the overloaded game (where there were more attackers than defenders), they would move over into the attacking team. MORE
This is my favourite tackle drill because it works on both shoulders and gets in lots of dynamic repetitions of the tackle. You can easily dial up and down the pace of the drill to suit the needs of your players.
Ideally, you focus on one aspect of the tackle in this drill, running it for no more than five minutes at a time. MORE