There are some strict rules that apply once the tackle has been made, a split second before a ruck is formed. They are different for the tackler, tackled player and other arriving players. See below:
The tackled player must immediately let go of the ball once tackled. They can do this by popping a pass or placing the ball back (ideally body in 'L' position to close gate width). Players may regather the ball and continue movement of ball after it has been released and made available. It is important that tackled player does not interfere or play/hold the ball while lying on the ground.
Tacklers have their own set of laws to conform to. Once the tackle is made, they must let go of the tackled player immediately. This release must allow for the tackled player to place the ball. Before the tackler can contest for the ball again, they must be on their feet. If they choose not to contest (I.E.: 'jackle' the ball), they must make sure they retreat a sufficient distance from the ball to avoid interference and re-enter through the gate.. Tacklers often get penalized for “not rolling away.” This can be avoided by moving outside the immediate area where the ball is going to be played. Players who were not part of the original tackle and enter the tackle area must stay on their feet to play the ball. The tackle area changes to a ruck the moment a player, from each side, and who are on their feet, stands over the ball where a tackle had been made. At this point, the rules of the ruck apply and players are to follow them until the next tackle is made.
So, a ruck is formed, now what? Again, a ruck is formed if the ball is on the ground and one or more players from each team who are on their feet close around it. Players must not handle the ball in the ruck, and must use their feet to move the ball or drive over it so that it emerges at the team’s hindmost foot, at which point it can be picked up. Sounds simple? Not really. Please explore the links to the left to learn more about the ruck (or, the general term used when a tackle is made to the ground: the "breakdown"). First step is to read and understand the ruck laws!