It is used when the player carrying the ball is running at speed and a defending player is approaching from behind. Even if the defender is not able to get close enough to the ball-carrier to wrap his arms around him in a conventional tackle, he may still be able to dive at the other player's feet and, with an outstretched arm, deliver a tap or hook to the player's foot (or feet) causing the player to stumble. At speed, this will often be sufficient to bring the ball-carrier down.
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