Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Rugby Union Rules - The Breakdown

The breakdown happens when there is a breakdown in play as a tackle occurs or the ball is free to be competed for up to and including the formation of a ruck. There are many rules that define the breakdown area. The main ones are below.

When a player completes the tackle he must release the tackled player, and must move himself away from the ball, failure to do so will result in a penalty to the opposing team. Likewise the tackled player must release the ball and allow players from both teams compete for the ball. A player competing for the ball must be on their feet while doing so. If a player from the other team is on his feet trying to win the ball with his hands before a ruck is formed and the tackled player will not release the ball the referee will award a penalty against the tackled player. If the player competing for the ball manages to get the ball this is called a 'turn over'.

Once a ruck is formed neither player is allowed to play the ball with their hands on the ground but instead have to drive the opposing player away from the ball and free the ball by 'rucking' the ball with their feet. A player has to join the ruck from the hindmost foot of the last team-mate in the ruck. This is called 'arriving through the gate'. If a player arrives into a ruck from the side of the ruck a penalty is awarded to the opposite team.

To learn more about the rules and gameplay rugby union, click one of the links below:

Ruby Union Gameplay and Rules
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Rugby Union Videos