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Open field play

  • Look to evade the defender first - aim for the space around the defender, not the defender’s body

If contact is unavoidable:

  • Avoid head-on tackles by attacking the space and using evasive footwork
  • Keep the ball in both hands
  • Prepare for contact by adopting a strong and stable body position
  • Force the tackler to make a side-on tackle
  • Try to stay on your feet
  • Maintain your momentum using a strong leg drive
  • Try to pass out of the contact
During contact

If held by an opponent and brought to ground:

  • You have been tackled; see also the tackle section
  • Try to pass to support on landing
  • If unable to pass to support, present the ball
  • If support players are unable to pick and go / pick and pass, a ruck will form; see the ruck section

If brought to ground but not held by an opponent:

  • You have not been tackled; get back to your feet and continue with open play

If held by an opponent but not brought to ground:

  • You have not been tackled; maintain a strong body position and forward momentum through leg drive
  • Brace for the arrival of additional tacklers and/or opposing supporting players
  • Look for arriving support
  • Offload to a team-mate if possible
  • If a supporting team-mate binds on to you, a maul is formed; see also the maul section