Rugby Club Member
I thought, as the weather was nice, to go down the local park and take in a game. The coach of one side was, not having a go at the referee but was debating his decisions about the breakdown and the ruck. Basically what was happening was reds going forward tackled by blue no problems there. A blue defender was then coming in getting over the tackled player, on his side and getting his hands on the ball, no problem there. The next stage is where the debate started. A red player would then come in, engage with the blue player who has his hands on the ball and then be joined by others, which then the referee would shout "ruck" hands off. The coach was shouting that his player was entitled to have his hands on the ball, which he does, but the referee was telling the players that the first player arriving was not lifting the ball off the ground but just having his hands on the ball therefore he had to release the ball. Is that correct does the first player have to lift the ball off the ground so that the next phase is a tackle rather than a ruck or can he just put his hands on it trying to win maybe a penalty against the tackled player for not releasing which was put the coach who stated that was not the case.