Filed under: Dan Cottrell, ELVs, Rugby Coaching, Rugby Skills, Rugby Training | Tags: bridging, IRB, laws of rugby, sealing, usa rugby, winning the ruck, women's rugby
Last week I posted the IRB reminders on the interpretation of the law about “bridging and sealing”. It is not explicitly stated in the law book but here are the rough definitions:
Bridging: forming a bridge with your legs or knees and hands or elbows over the ball.
Sealing: securing yourself to the tackled player, preventing the opposition grabbing the ball and if driven back, taking the tackled player and ball with you.
Since, in the spirit of the game, players are meant to stay on their feet, any attempt by players who are not on their feet to prevent the ball being contested is illegal.
Market forces have prevailed though. Coaches and players are always seeking ways to profit from the laws.
Here is what it says in the Playing Charter at the front of the IRB Laws of the Game:
It is the aim of the team in possession to maintain continuity by denying the opposition the ball and, by skilful means, to advance and score points. Failure to do this will mean the surrendering of possession to the opposition either as a result of shortcomings on the part of the team in possession or because of the quality of the opposition defence. Contest and continuity, profit and loss.
Bridging and sealing have worked there way into the game as a method of retaining possession. There was a knowing conceit amongst some coaches and certain referees that this is okay. Others see it as dangerous, with a greater likelihood of players putting themselves in exposed positions.
This clip from some Amercian coaches says much about the feeling. You decide where the line should be drawn.
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