Clearing up the mess

Both hookers can challenge for the loose ball from the lineout, especially if it bounces inside the 5m area next to the touchline. Here’s how to make your hooker more alert.

Tidying up knockdowns, dropped balls and tap backs from your throw can retain or regain possession. Or if you’re the opposition hooker, it’s a chance to get one up on your rival.

  1. The non-throwing hooker stands in the 5m channel a metre from the tackle tubes to replicate his position at a lineout.
  2. The player with the pad stands between the tubes.
  3. The 9 stands on the opposite side of the tackle tubes in line with the pad holder.
  4. The thrower throws in and the pad holder intercepts the ball with the pad into the 5m area.

  1. Once the ball is deflected the players challenge for the ball.
  2. If the opposition hooker wins it, he must be stopped.
  3. Here, the non-throwing hooker has won the ball, and needs to be stopped
  4. Note, this is an “imperfect” situation, so not all the throws or deflections will land exactly where we want – just play on until it is obvious what the outcome will be.

  1. If the 9 is caught in possession then the ball thrower must help protect him and recover the ball.


  • The opposition hooker stands midway between the tackle tubes and the thrower to maximise the area covered.
  • Both hookers watch for the deflection and look to fall on the loose ball or gather it.
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