Coaching Tips and Advice with the Ruck and Maul
To the untrained eye, rucks and mauls may appear to be a chaotic scramble, however, there are strict structures and rules that govern the breakdown. To retain possession of the ball, players must forget about the number on their backs and focus solely on the situation in front of them. Whether back or forward, the first players to reach the breakdown must act to legally secure the ball.
Rucks and mauls are the ultimate contest of power and aggression, however ill discipline will cost teams valuable points.
Therefore the challenge lies in players maintaining cool heads during these unpredictable encounters.
Coaching Tips and Advice at the Ruck
A ruck is formed when the ball is taken to the ground and players from each side compete for possession while maintaining their footing.
The number one priority is to protect that ball, so when an attacking player hits the ruck, their aim should be to advance beyond the ball. This minimises the risk of a counter ruck as it creates distance between the defenders and the ball. Body positioning is also very important when competing in the ruck. The lower a player’s hips and shoulders, the greater chance they have of cleaning out an opposing player.
Upon entering an attacking ruck, a player loses all rights to handle the ball, however they must resist the temptation to the play that ball on the ground, as multiple infringements will see them carded.