Marlie Packer

How to Rugby: Jackal

In the second edition of Marlie's How to Rugby series, learn how to turn a ball over after a tackle using the Jackal.

The jackal is when a tackle is made by a defending player and possession is contested. There are two ways of jackling. One way is tackling your opponent and using their momentum/speed to get back to your feet and jackal the ball. It’s essential that you get into a low body position, feet shoulder width apart with your scaps and core switched on. To initiate the jackal, you need to show clear release of the player and break contact with them at which point you are entitled to reach over to take the ball from the opponent as they must release the ball when they’ve been taken down.

The second way of jackling is initiated when a teammate has made a low tackle on an opponent which you have not been a part of. At this point you are allowed to go in over the ball and compete for possession as the opponent must once again, release the ball when taken down. This kind of jackal would usually happen after three or four phases of play, where the defence are on the front foot or making low hard tackles.

If you’re successful in the jackal and an opposing player comes forward to make an attempt to ruck you out, you can fall back, placing the ball as far away from the opponents as possible. This will give your teammates the opportunity to take the ball away to a safer location and remove the chance of the opposition winning the ball back.

When attempting a jackal, if an opponent comes in to re-take possession, the best thing to do would be to leave the ball for your team mates to compete for and eliminate the threat in front of you. It will both create time for your team to make a clearing pass or carry the ball and make a break for it.