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End of ruck
Mike Chambers
Rugby Ready Certified
I had a nine question my sense of when the defensive player can tackle the nine at the breakdown.
Scenario is: the defensive player counter rucks through the ruck and then tackles the nine as the nine plays the ball. My interpretation is that the ruck was over, and that the defensive player was onside, and therefore allowed to tackle the nine.
Posted 21 May 2017 12.11pm
Riaan Lubbe
Level 1 Coach
South Africa

You are 100% correct in your law interpretation. There are a couple of things to think off though. If the defensive player has joined legally and rucked legally then he cannot pick up the ball in the ruck (he is only allowed to ruck the ball back to his side) but as soon as the ball is out he can play it from his position. With the nine playing the ball, the ruck is successfully over as per the following law

A ruck ends successfully when the ball leaves the ruck, or when the ball is on or over the goal line.

this makes also legal to tackle the number 9.

Hope it helps.

Posted 21 May 2017 06.11pm
Mike Chambers
Rugby Ready Certified
Thank you for the input, and the extension on the defensive player's responsibility while the ruck is still on.
Posted 21 May 2017 07.11pm
Werner Cromm
Match Official Educator

After a ruck ended an onside player can tackle the ball carrier.

But be aware:
After the ball is out there is no ruck and to "counter rucks through the ruck" might no longer be a legal action.

This might be dangerous play and misconduct

10.4 (f) Playing an opponent without the ball. Except in a scrum, ruck or maul, a player who is not in possession of the ball must not hold, push or obstruct an opponent not carrying the ball.
Posted 22 May 2017 08.11am

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