Ensure your ball poaching satisfies the referee

Referees are very sharp on ball poachers who put their hands on the ground before grabbing for the ball. You must make your players whiter-than-whiter and also far more accurate in this area. It will reduce your penalty count and increase your chances of stealing the ball.

Make sure that your ball poaching is not only technically legal but also looks legal and satisfies the referee when the ball is grabbed from the tackled ball carrier.

Why use it

The defender must stay on his feet and make it look to the referee that he can support his own bodyweight. He bounces onto the ball with his hands and then up.

Set up

Two ruck pads (or tackle tubes), a ball and cones.

Ensure your ball poaching satisfies the referee

How to do it

First, have a player practise arriving at the tackle (using a tube or pad), getting low and reaching over to grab the ball. He uses a wide base, bending at the knees and hips. He needs to reach down, momentarily putting his hands on the ground before bouncing back up with the ball (see picture 1).

Then, get your player moving sideways and going for the ball through the tackle gate to poach it (see picture 2).

Finally, put the ball between two ruck pads so the player has to dig it out. Make it a race to see if a player can grab the ball before he is driven off (see picture 3).


  • Wide base, with knees bent
  • Drop the hips towards the ground for more stability
  • Reach just beyond the ball, bouncing back with the ball.
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