Maintaining continuity is imperative at the tackle/ruck point. It is necessary to engage the opposition with the assistance of your support, retain possession going forward, and then utilise the space that has been created generally either directly behind the tackle/ruck zone or by passing laterally.
The development of a ruck or maul creates an offside line, which allows the attack more time and space. If the defence does not contest the ruck or maul, the formation may continue to immediately go forward.
The decisions made around ruck time in Sevens are similar to that of XVs. The functional roles are identical. The ball-carrier needs to look for space pre-contact and in contact make sure they have a secure placement of the ball.
Another decision that does become more prevalent in Sevens is the decision to pop the ball or push the ball back along the ground towards your own team. These decisions can be influenced by the support patterns you run as a team. Due to the lack of numbers on the field a narrowed gate becomes quite important.
The first arrival as in XVs needs to make several decisions. If there is a threat then clear it. If there is a threat but attack support is slow – bridge it. If there is no threat – pick up the ball and play it.
Work on recycling secondary possession by educating players on their roles. Use this decision making process to ensure clarity and continuity.
Both on attack and defence the objective is to win the battle of the advantage line.
Rucks can be valuable attacking tools in the sense that they create offside lines. Avoiding rucks means everything is general play and no offside lines are in play.
In some circumstances teams may try to avoid contact and avoid the ruck game. To do this, teams will often use a pattern involving a deep pocket to clear the pressure of a ruck.
As part of the attack players need to develop the ability to catch and pass. Width on the pass, the ability to judge a bouncing ball, being able to keep the hips square while engaging the defence and still make the pass with speed, accuracy and a good follow through are all skills that can be developed with a good skills development plan.
The benefit of gaining quality ball and carrying it forward with support, and maintaining continuity and possession should apply sufficient pressure to a defensive team enabling you to score points.