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Motion of the first receiver from a tap restart

From a tap restart may the player who is to first receive the ball start runnning before the player taps the ball? The player receiving the ball is at all times behind the player tapping the ball.

You have really answered your own question, as long as the first reciever is behind the player tapping the ball, any reciever can start running before the tap, this is a good heads up rugby skill as tap restarts are normally done on the quick and having someone already alert and running at pace may gain you more ground advantage. Hope this helps

That's what I thought, but on the weekend the opposition were penalised for this and the ref called it charging. I wondered whether his call was related to Law 10.4 (p) ‘Cavalry Charge’. In 20+ years of playing rugby I have never seen anyone penalised like that before.

Hi Craig, I have read the Law 10.4 (p) and this does raise an issue as the same as yourself I have never seen this in the 20+ years of rugby I have played all around the globe, however the law does state otherwise which in your initial question needs clarity. Even on a penalty if an attacking team has a penalty move most players start running to confuse the opposition before the ball is even tapped and again where does this stand....."a calvary charge??" Hope some more people could clarify this on line, thanks

The way I have read these posts is that if it is a quick tap penalty, then most players are moving (attackers continuing forward against the defenders who are retreating 10 metres) and the ref lets play continue, as the "tapper" has usually ran himself with the ball before passing. However, if play has stopped at ref's instructions & it is then a set penalty move, the receiver can not charge onto the ball if the tapper simply taps & passes - this was penalised a few times last year in our league. I think it not allowed if the receiver starts his run before the ball is tapped, as once it is tapped, the ball is in open play & everyone can run.

Right, this does indeed constitute what is known as a ‘Cavalry Charge’ and is explicitly barred as foul play by Law 10.4 (p). It is well described in the rules and there is little room left for doubt. I suppose it's a case of "not many people know this but..." A few years ago it was common practice, but if you watch any top-class game closely, you'll see it is just not done anymore.

Thank you all. I appreciate the responses.

The SRU has issuedguidance on this with revised law variations for Mini - Midi Rugby (up to U14)- the first receiver must pass immediately to avoid the cavalry charge. These law variations were introduced as part of the Rugby Ready programme and can be found on the SRU website. There is also a useful document from the same site which explains the rationale behind the variations - useful for coaches and refs.

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