When carrying the ball close to the touchline, you do not want to get tackled out of bounds and simply hand over possession to the opposition. It must be remembered that the opposition can have a quick throw instead of a lineout which could catch your teammates off-guard. Not handing over the ball quickly or otherwise preventing quick throws within 5m of the touchline are penaliseable offences. In order to prevent this, attackers can opt for one of several tactics to prevent simply handing over possession.
Hold Your Feet. Adopt a strong position that’s between going to ground and standing upright, allowing you to keep pumping your legs forward until support arrives.
Step In. Stepping into a tackle comes with risk of being dominated, but there’s also the chance that you can sidestep a cross-covering defender and continue running.
Fall to Ground. Before going into touch, and with support close-by, it’s important to get to ground. Very few players at any age level can hold up an individual’s full body weight. Letting one’s legs go and ripping the ball downward is the most effective way of doing this. Once a leg is down, the tackler must release before contesting the ball, buying another moment for support to arrive.
Kick. If no support is present, a kick is a good option, moving the ball downfield with the potential to regain rather than giving defenders an easy chance at a turnover or a free lineout. A chip over the defender is probably the best kick when near the touchline as it will be easier to guide and recover. If the ball does go straight into touch, the attacker must immediately take up a position 5m from the touchline and prevent the opponent from making a quick throw. This CANNOT legally be done at the touchline – it is a penalty offence. The kicker must also be aware of where the throw can take place. A grubber kick is less likely to be charged down though is more difficult to aim and follow in a narrow channel. Both kicks, however, can be angled inwards for players on the inside to chase. When the wing is up flat and the full back has come across, this can be very advantageous to attacking teams. You see tries scored this way fairly frequently in Rugby League where last-tackle kicks are frequent.
If each of these things is going to give the defending team an easy chance to recover the ball and a clear run to the goal line, then running or being tackled into touch is probably a better option!