Saracens push laws to the limit again with tactic everyone will soon be using
Saracens would not be Saracens if they were not trying to find new and inventive ways of working their way around the laws of rugby.
The three time European champions were one of the earliest exponents of the ruck caterpillar, although plenty of other teams have picked up the ball and run with it, and have once again turned to the animal kingdom for inspiration. This time it is the crab that is helping the north London side get an advantage at the ruck.
This new tactic has been highlighted by rugby analyst Brett Igoe, and sees the defensive ruck curve round so that the player at the back of the ruck is closer to the opposition’s scrum-half. This has been used when defending box kicks, as it effectively allows the defending player to be in what would be an offside position if they were not part of the ruck.
This has sparked quite a debate online as people have been trying to find a way to prove that this is illegal. But providing the player joins from the back of the ruck, many feel the referee is unable to do anything in this position, and the defending team can steer the ruck where ever they wish.
Igoe used footage from Saracens’ win over Sale Sharks at the StoneX Stadium on Sunday, but it will surely not be long before plenty of other sides are doing the same. Take a look:
I promise, my last breakdown question. Saracens pushing the laws to the max again. #SARvSAL #GallagherPrem . Italy currently looking at it for their opening #sixnations game!!! pic.twitter.com/wAvE4qr2yM
— Brett Igoe (@brettruganalyst) November 28, 2021
Saracens’ 25-14 win leaves them in second place in the Gallagher Premiership, three points above Harlequins but still six points adrift of league leaders Leicester Tigers.