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Introduce players to contact by building up the skills through games.

There are a number of ways to play this game and we would suggest coaches adapt the rules to suit their own team needs - but here is a solid base for which you will see some instant sucess.



  • Two hand touch, or scrag (grab player by jersey, shorts, or body to slow them down).
  • The defence must make two scrags to affect a tackle (make the attacker go to ground). You can also use just one scrag.
  • The second tackler (scragger/toucher) and two other defenders (the two closest defenders either of the ruck) must go down on their stomach (down and up). (i.e., three defenders are out of play) This can be varied depending on ability/fitness level etc (e.g., you could just say the three defenders have to drop to one knee instead of on their stomachs.
  • Anytime the three defenders fail to go to ground and/or stay down until the ball has been passed by the halfback should be a penalty to the attacking team.
  • Play always re-starts with a tap penalty.


  • When a player has been ‘scragged’ by a second defender on the same run, they must go to ground and place the ball (same as tackle rugby) – they can continue forward momentum but need to go to ground/begin to go to ground immediately, not run for 5-10 metres before going to ground (that would be a penalty and turnover).
  • One arriving attacking player must ‘bridge’ over the ball-carrier (no clean-outs and no jackals) (Bridge means over/past the ball but on feet).
  • The ball can’t be cleared until the ‘bridge’ is in place.
  • If the ‘bridge’ is not there within 2 seconds the referee will call a turnover “too late, turn over”.
  • Play can restart as soon as a defending player gets the ball and quick taps.


  • Kick-offs are only used for the start of the game and the start of the second half. The ball can just be placed on the ground and kicked. Must go 10m. If it goes out, then the kicking team gets the ball back.
  • There is no official game clock, but I would suggest for social players 10 minutes each way would be about right. For better players 15-20 minutes each way although it would be exhausting.
  • There is no official tackle count, but if the ball is dropped, kicked away, or the other team scores a try, it’s a turnover.
  • Turnovers occur mostly because of dropped passes, forward passes, late bridge (because everyone’s too tired), intercept, kick, fumble while being scragged, or try.
  • If a try* is scored the other team re-starts play with a quick tap from where the ball has been scored (it’s referred to as turn and burn and creates a lot of broken, staggered defences).

(*DESCRIPTION OF ABOVE – try scored, nearest defending player picks up the ball, quick taps and immediately attacks the other way.)

  • Offside line is basically the same as a ruck, but if the referee deems someone offside when making a scrag they just call “offside play on” and the attacker can keep going until scragged by another defender.
  • Kicking is allowed, but the ball cannot go above shoulder height, so no up-and-unders or massive clearances. Only grubbers.
  • Can be played with any number of players from about 10 to 20 per side
  • Field can be any size depending on numbers, but most fun on a full field with about 15-a-side.
  • If the ball goes out it’s a quick tap re-start anywhere near the side-line where it went out, or just a quick throw in (pass).
  • No scrums, no lineouts, no tackles (no concussions!)

Note: The two-scrag rule opens up the game and makes it more fun for less able. i.e., you can keep going a bit if you are slow rather than always having to go to ground. Bit like a prop bumping someone off on a five-metre surge as opposed to getting smashed behind the gain line. It also allows players to off load e.g., run through the first scrag and off load and you have taken out a defender and breached the line, the defence now must try and get the player you off loaded to, twice etc.

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