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Womble
30-11-15, 17:11
I'm starting to get a bit of a bee in my bonnet with posters stating that if the ball is on the ground after a failed maul that it is a ruck!!! As a coach, my players are coached to not roll away at a failed maul to secure the turnover. in 6 of the 10 games we have payed this year they have been pinged for not rolling away at a failed maul.

Please discuss so that we can get it right

OB..
30-11-15, 17:11
Clarify the referee's view before the game, and then play accordingly.

Rushforth
30-11-15, 17:11
My understanding is that in modern interpretation, the ball-carrier is allowed some leeway to go to ground after the maul has formed, and that if he can do so "immediately" he can place the ball in a matter similar to a ruck, if he can.

That we give them this leeway makes sense to some degree - it usually gets the ball out quite quickly - and I agree it is unfair to ping a "wrapping player" who is dragged down to ground by the BC.

That said, "wrapping players" can and do collapse mauls when the BC is not actively trying to get the ball down on the ground to be put back into play.

From a coaching perspective, it is generally preferable to ruck ASAP if good support is available, and for the ball-carrier to stay on his feet if it isn't until a maul is formed. At this point he can "immediately" go to ground, but that doesn't make it a ruck, IMO.

When mauls go to ground and the ball isn't playable due to a player "unable to roll away", the first time it happens it is a scrum for ball not coming out, but also a "tell" to both sides of "no playing on the ground".

Decorily
30-11-15, 17:11
This has been discussed numerous times and methinks another one now wont clear it up either!!

Apart altogether from the ball being on the ground, I understand this is the specific scenario you refer to, I see the collapsed (legally) maul being refereed incorrectly week in week out. I know its incorrect because I see it being done in two entirely different and conflicting ways! It indicates a very poor knowledge of the basics and is very frustrating for both players and coaches alike.

Some referees call for the opposition player(s) on their feet to release the ball carrier and/or ball when they get to ground - usually one knee.

Apart altogether from the ball being on the ground, I understand this is the specific scenario you refer to, I see the collapsed (legally) maul being refereed incorrectly week in week out. I know its incorrect because I see it being done in two entirely different and conflicting ways! It indicates a very poor knowledge of the basics and is very frustrating for both players and coaches alike.

Some referees call for the opposition player(s) on their feet to release the ball carrier and/or ball when they get to ground - usually one knee, others do not. Some call for opposition to roll away on the ground while others don't.

Really is very frustrating!!

Taff
30-11-15, 17:11
I'm starting to get a bit of a bee in my bonnet with posters stating that if the ball is on the ground after a failed maul that it is a ruck!!! ... Please discuss so that we can get it right
It's only a ruck if all the requirements for a ruck are met ie


2 opposing players bound onto each other
On their feet
Over the ball
which is on the ground.

crossref
30-11-15, 17:11
womble,
I don't think your 6/10 refs are saying the maul has become a ruck - it's much worse than that -- they are saying the maul has become a tackle.

It's something that the elite refs started doing last season, and has trickled down -- a maul clearly forms, the ball carrier ends up on the floor and the elite ref shouts 'tackle-only' by which he means he is refereeing this not as collapsed maul, but as a tackle, ie it was OK to pull it down and, now it is down, everyone has to release and roll away etc etc.

I don't think it's right and I think it has led to confusion amongst players and refs alike.

Certainly in my games I have situations where all players agree there was a maul (not least because I called 'maul') but then when it goes to ground there are some quite different expectations of how the situation should be reffed. While very many players are holding on expecting a turnover: others are quite genuinely expecting to win a PK because of the oppo holding on. And why not, as last week they probably did.

Balones
30-11-15, 19:11
I'm starting to get a bit of a bee in my bonnet with posters stating that if the ball is on the ground after a failed maul that it is a ruck!!! As a coach, my players are coached to not roll away at a failed maul to secure the turnover. in 6 of the 10 games we have payed this year they have been pinged for not rolling away at a failed maul.

Please discuss so that we can get it right

All I can say Womble is that if I observe a ref doing that then they get it mentioned in their report as a non-compliance.
National Panel refs make this mistake occasionally but perhaps not as much as lower level ones. In debriefs it has been mentioned by the ref that they have been caught up in the moment to try and keep continuity in the game and one ref said that even though he knew it was wrong he couldn't stop himself from calling 'release'/'roll' or pinging!

Balones
30-11-15, 19:11
My argument against considering the unsuccessful, collapsed maul as a ruck (Law aside.) is that it would bring into play the 5sec rule and cause further action by the players in what is an uncontrolled situation where a player may have landed awkwardly or in a dangerous position. The reason we have a whistle if the ball isn't immediately available Law is a matter safety. It is important to stop play as soon as possible in such an uncontrolled situation.

Wedgie
30-11-15, 20:11
I had a variation on this yesterday. Maul formed, I call "Maul. Taken in by White". Maul moves forwards with maybe 4 Whites vs 5 Reds. It then splinters a little, White get the ball to ground, place it backwards and the ball is "immediately" playable with White 9 about to pick up and distribute ........ or he would have done had 2 Red players not fallen over/on/beyond the ball (in my view, deliberately), killing it. I penalise Red for going off their feet at the ruck-type-thingy. The (switched on) Red captain asks why the penalty as a maul was clearly formed and they didn't have to roll away/release. I made a distinction between not releasing when they were in already in contact with the ball carrier vs. actively seeking out to obtain the ball in the ex-maul/ruck-type-thingy and then not release.

Correct? Would a white scrum been a better option? Or (thinking about it now whilst typing), if the maul had successfully ended, should the PK have been given under Law 14.2?

crossref
30-11-15, 20:11
I had a variation on this yesterday. Maul formed, I call "Maul. Taken in by White". Maul moves forwards with maybe 4 Whites vs 5 Reds. It then splinters a little, White get the ball to ground, place it backwards and the ball is "immediately" playable with White 9 about to pick up and distribute ........ or he would have done had 2 Red players not fallen over/on/beyond the ball (in my view, deliberately), killing it. I penalise Red for going off their feet at the ruck-type-thingy. The (switched on) Red captain asks why the penalty as a maul was clearly formed and they didn't have to roll away/release. I made a distinction between not releasing when they were in already in contact with the ball carrier vs. actively seeking out to obtain the ball in the ex-maul/ruck-type-thingy and then not release.

Correct? Would a white scrum been a better option? Or (thinking about it now whilst typing), if the maul had successfully ended, should the PK have been given under Law 14.2?

technically a PK I guess.
you were saying it was open play, in open play you can dive on a ball but you can't then just lie on the ground hanging on to it.

Phil E
30-11-15, 21:11
I have heard Premiership referees say on more thanks one occasion that.....
If the maul goes down players don't have to roll away. But what they can't do is kill the ball as an afterthought.

ChrisR
30-11-15, 21:11
I had a variation on this yesterday. Maul formed, I call "Maul. Taken in by White". Maul moves forwards with maybe 4 Whites vs 5 Reds. It then splinters a little, White get the ball to ground, place it backwards and the ball is "immediately" playable with White 9 about to pick up and distribute ........ or he would have done had 2 Red players not fallen over/on/beyond the ball (in my view, deliberately), killing it. I penalise Red for going off their feet at the ruck-type-thingy. The (switched on) Red captain asks why the penalty as a maul was clearly formed and they didn't have to roll away/release. I made a distinction between not releasing when they were in already in contact with the ball carrier vs. actively seeking out to obtain the ball in the ex-maul/ruck-type-thingy and then not release.

Correct? Would a white scrum been a better option? Or (thinking about it now whilst typing), if the maul had successfully ended, should the PK have been given under Law 14.2?

Wedgie, Ruck Law16.4(e) covers it.

White place ball on ground. converting maul to ruck, ball is emerging from ruck, Red dive on it, PK to Red.

This is not a "failed maul". it is a maul converted to ruck.

Womble
30-11-15, 21:11
Wedgie, Ruck Law16.4(e) covers it.

White place ball on ground. converting maul to ruck, ball is emerging from ruck, Red dive on it, PK to Red.

This is not a "failed maul". it is a maul converted to ruck.

Putting the ball on the ground does not form a ruck ! My exact point for starting this thread !!!

Drift
30-11-15, 22:11
17.5 Successful end to a maul
A maul ends successfully when :
the ball or a player with the ball leaves the maul
the ball is on the ground
the ball is on or over the goal line.

If the ball is on the ground and there are players bound over the top of it, don't we have a ruck?

I'm just playing devils advocate here.

Womble
30-11-15, 23:11
17.5 Successful end to a maul
A maul ends successfully when :
the ball or a player with the ball leaves the maul
the ball is on the ground
the ball is on or over the goal line.

If the ball is on the ground and there are players bound over the top of it, don't we have a ruck?

I'm just playing devils advocate here.
Yes, i misread wedgies post, only the ball on the ground i agree, player and ball is a failed maul imo

Dave Sherwin
30-11-15, 23:11
Womble - you're quite right. What this thread would suggest is that there is a lack of clarity regarding the different obligations in a "choke" tackle situation where the tackled player manages to get to ground (including just by getting a knee to ground) and a true maul.

In a true maul, if the ball carrier goes to ground, there is no obligation on the opponents to release.

In a "choke" tackle scenario, if a maul has not formed and the tackled player gets to ground, the tacklers/tackle assists must release.

The key, therefore, for both referee and players is to identify when there is a maul and when it is only a tackle. It is for this reason that it is good management to identify every maul with a call and, similarly, to identify situations which some players may perceive to be a maul with a clear call of "tackle" (NOTE: avoid "tackle only" in this circumstance. "Tackle only" is generally used to clarify that there is no ruck and therefore no ruck offside line has been established).

I will commonly call "tackle. Blue release" to clarify my thought process for players. This way, even if I am wrong, any decision I ultimately make should not be a surprise to the defenders and, generally, I find my call will immediately be repeated by about three defenders around the breakdown so that it gets through to their team-mates.

What I think is clear is that there are a number of situations in which we see referees call "tackle" even where a situation which TECHNICALLY meets the law book definition of a maul has developed. Primarily, this tends to be where the ball carrying player has (often with the help of a driving teammate who one might argue is responsible for turning the scenario into a TECHNICAL maul by binding to the ball carrier) maintained momentum and leg drive through the contact. In part, I think this approach has emerged precisely because the failed maul turnover could be seen to be inequitable in those circumstances (ie, the attacking team is still winning the contest, playing the better rugby etc. and so should be rewarded), whereas in a choke tackle which develops into a "held-up", static maul, the defending team is winning the contest and so the failed maul turnover is considered equitable.
A separate issue is that whilst in a failed maul situation there is no obligation for defenders (used in the law book sense) to release, I do not want:



Defenders collapsing the maul in order to make it a failed maul (seems to happen quite a lot which mauls which develop from choke tackles in open); or
Defenders flopping over or latching onto the ball AFTER the maul has gone to ground.

With respect to the latter scenario, Greg Garner managed just such an incident very well on Friday night. A Saints player who had not been "on the ball" as the maul went to ground reached out and wrapped his arm around the ball once it was on the ground (after a call of maul). GG just took two steps into the action and said, in conversational tone, "Just let it go.". The player did, Gloucester played the ball and at the next lineout GG sought out the Saints player and just said, "Yeah, you can stay on the ball at a maul, but you only went for the wrap once the ball was on the ground." Player accepted, everyone moved on.

The above was, after about two years, my first attempt at an explanatory post on these boards (as opposed to queries, musings etc.). I hope it is helpful and that I have not pulled the pin on a grenade from which I don't know how to run!

chbg
30-11-15, 23:11
I believe that the issue may be caused by Wortld Rugby's 12 year old. In the last few days I have seen another discussion on much the same lines, requiring the ball carrier in a maul who goes to ground but does NOT successfully make the ball available to be penalised, because the exception for him to go to ground is only available if the ball is available immediately and play continues:

17.2(d) Keeping players on their feet. Players in a maul must endeavour to stay on their feet. The ball carrier in a maul may go to ground providing the ball is available immediately and play continues. Sanction: Penalty kick

That interpretation flies in the face of 17.(g). No-one has yet countered my correction.

Womble
30-11-15, 23:11
Happy with those thoughts Dave, well thought out .

crossref
30-11-15, 23:11
What I think is clear is that there are a number of situations in which we see referees call "tackle" even where a situation which TECHNICALLY meets the law book definition of a maul has developed. Primarily, this tends to be where the ball carrying player has (often with the help of a driving teammate who one might argue is responsible for turning the scenario into a TECHNICAL maul by binding to the ball carrier) maintained momentum and leg drive through the contact. In part, I think this approach has emerged precisely because the failed maul turnover could be seen to be inequitable in those circumstances (ie, the attacking team is still winning the contest, playing the better rugby etc. and so should be rewarded),

I suspect the reason is to make everyone release and the ball come free, and to avoid having a scrum, which in the pro game is seen as boring / lacking in entertainment value.

Taff
01-12-15, 00:12
Yes, i misread wedgies post, only the ball on the ground i agree, player and ball is a failed maul imo
Even if there are two opposing players - on their feet - and in physical contact - over the ball, which by now is on the ground?

Pinky
01-12-15, 02:12
PK for red going off feet in maul.

Womble
01-12-15, 09:12
Even if there are two opposing players - on their feet - and in physical contact - over the ball, which by now is on the ground?

17.2d would imply that it is still a maul, not a ruck IMO

The Fat
01-12-15, 10:12
No-one has touched on the fact that if the ball carrier does choose to go to ground (probably because he thinks he may lose possession to an opponent who has hands on the ball), and an opponent has his hands on the ball, once the ball carrier gets to ground, if the opponent still has hands on the ball, the BC must release the ball to the man on his feet whereas the opponent does not have to release the ball or the BC.
If the BC chooses to go to ground, he must make the ball available immediately.
There is a difference between the ball being available immediately and being played.
Red take the ball into a maul and white are contesting vigorously. Red BC goes to ground legally, and immediately moves the ball towards the last feet. The ball has been "made available". The red SH does not however, have to use/play the ball immediately. He can check out his options and if the ref, as he should, calls "Use it!", he now has another 5 seconds to do so and avoid a turn over.

Players in opposition to the ball carrier may continue to contest the ball if they have the ball/ball carrier wrapped up when the maul goes to ground. Opposition players cannot dive on the ball to kill it after the maul has gone down and the BC is attempting to make the ball available. We often see a maul go down legally and as the team in possession is trying to make it available, opposition players come from all angles and dive on the collapsed maul to win the turn over. That's a no-no.

Womble
01-12-15, 10:12
No-one has touched on the fact that if the ball carrier does choose to go to ground (probably because he thinks he may lose possession to an opponent who has hands on the ball), and an opponent has his hands on the ball, once the ball carrier gets to ground, if the opponent still has hands on the ball, the BC must release the ball to the man on his feet whereas the opponent does not have to release the ball or the BC.
If the BC chooses to go to ground, he must make the ball available immediately.
There is a difference between the ball being available immediately and being played.
Red take the ball into a maul and white are contesting vigorously. Red BC goes to ground legally, and immediately moves the ball towards the last feet. The ball has been "made available". The red SH does not however, have to use/play the ball immediately. He can check out his options and if the ref, as he should, calls "Use it!", he now has another 5 seconds to do so and avoid a turn over.

Would you agree that you would still be refereeing a maul?

crossref
01-12-15, 10:12
No-one has touched on the fact that if the ball carrier does choose to go to ground (probably because he thinks he may lose possession to an opponent who has hands on the ball), and an opponent has his hands on the ball, once the ball carrier gets to ground, if the opponent still has hands on the ball, the BC must release the ball to the man on his feet whereas the opponent does not have to release the ball or the BC


Is that really true?

I reckon I'd be giving a maul ended unsuccessfully, scrum, turnover ball.

The Fat
01-12-15, 10:12
Perhaps everyone not familiar with Clarification 2 - 2011 should read below before discussing further.

Clarification 2 2011

Ruling in Law by the Designated Members of the Rugby Committee

Ruling: 2-2011
Union / HP Ref Manager: ARU
Law Reference: 17
Date: 14 November 2011

Request: Request for clarification from the ARU the correspondence is reproduced below.

“Law 17.6(g) says: “If the ball carrier in a maul goes to ground, including being on one or both knees or sitting, the referee orders a scrum unless the ball is immediately available.”

Often situations arise in the game when a ball carrier in a maul (especially when the maul consists of only 3 or 4 players) goes to ground with an opponent remaining on his feet with his arms wrapped around the ball. ARU asks the following questions:

a) Does the opponent on his feet need to release the ball carrier given that this is a collapsed maul and not a tackle?

b) Does the ball carrier have to release the ball to the opponent on his feet? Law 17.6 (g) indicates a scrum unless the ball is immediately available but places no obligation on the ball carrier to make it available by releasing it.

c) When a maul collapses, is there any obligation on players to roll away from the ball in order to make the ball available?

d) When a maul collapses, are players who go to ground able to interfere with the ball as it is being made available while they are still off their feet? If not, what is the sanction and what is the basis in Law?”



Clarification in Law by the Designated Members of the Rugby Committee

Questions (a), (b) and (c) relate to questions of Law and (d) relates more to the application of Law.

There is a further variable to be taken into account when the ball goes to ground at a collapsed maul and there are players from both sides on their feet bound over the ball so that Law 16 – Ruck becomes applicable.

(a) If a maul collapses and the ball does not touch the ground the player on his feet is not obliged to release the ball or ball carrier unless the ball touches the ground and a ruck is formed.

(b) The original ball carrier who goes to ground (knee or sitting) who can play the ball must do so immediately and the referee then has a judgement to make:
i. When the ball carrier goes to ground and the ball is unplayable (i.e. the ball is not available immediately), through no fault of the ball carrier, then the referee awards a scrum as per 17.6(g).
ii. When the ball carrier goes to ground and that player fails to make the ball available the sanction is a penalty kick to the opposition as per 17.2(d)

(c) At a collapsed maul there is no obligation in Law for players to roll away unless a ruck subsequently occurs.

(d) If this occurs Law 17 has not been applied because the ball has not been made available immediately and the referee should have stopped the game and awarded a scrum or a penalty sanction dependent on the actions of players before.

The Fat
01-12-15, 10:12
Would you agree that you would still be refereeing a maul?

Personally, I'm still treating the whole thing as a maul situation however, when such a situation arises, we basically manage the SH getting the ball moving the same as we would a ruck i.e. we manage players not in the heap on the ground to their offside line (last feet).
May be best if I can find some videos and post links.

If a maul forms and an opposition player causes the BC to fumble/drop the ball so that it is on the ground in the middle of the pack, we now have a ruck situation.

crossref
01-12-15, 10:12
that clarification could really do with being written into the Law book.

So Fat - indeed, the situation is not so black and white as you suggested.

the referee then has a judgement to make:
i. When the ball carrier goes to ground and the ball is unplayable (i.e. the ball is not available immediately), through no fault of the ball carrier, then the referee awards a scrum as per 17.6(g).
ii. When the ball carrier goes to ground and that player fails to make the ball available the sanction is a penalty kick to the opposition as per 17.2(d)

The Fat
01-12-15, 10:12
Is that really true?

I reckon I'd be giving a maul ended unsuccessfully, scrum, turnover ball.

If the BC goes to ground, he must make the ball immediately available. If as he was going to ground an opponent had hands on the ball/BC, but when the BC hits the deck he is able to break the opponent's grasp, turn and present the ball, he has complied with his obligation.
If however, he is unable to break free from the opponent to do the above, and the opponent still has hold of the ball, the BC must release the ball to the man who is on his feet.

The Fat
01-12-15, 11:12
that clarification could really do with being written into the Law book.

So Fat - indeed, the situation is not so black and white as you suggested.

the referee then has a judgement to make:
i. When the ball carrier goes to ground and the ball is unplayable (i.e. the ball is not available immediately), through no fault of the ball carrier, then the referee awards a scrum as per 17.6(g).
ii. When the ball carrier goes to ground and that player fails to make the ball available the sanction is a penalty kick to the opposition as per 17.2(d)

17.2(d) is basically playing the ball whilst off your feet or something along those lines I think

crossref
01-12-15, 11:12
If the BC goes to ground, he must make the ball immediately available. If as he was going to ground an opponent had hands on the ball/BC, but when the BC hits the deck he is able to break the opponent's grasp, turn and present the ball, he has complied with his obligation.
If however, he is unable to break free from the opponent to do the above, and the opponent still has hold of the ball, the BC must release the ball to the man who is on his feet.

but in real life the situation will be more complicated

- by definition the ball carrier will have at least one team mate and the team mater has also probably got some purchase on the ball and is not releasing and doesn't have to

- the ball carrier is probably wrapped up by the oppo, he's going to ground to try and break their wrap and doesn't succeed, he may not be able to release the ball very easily. If he could, he'd be making it available..

- indeed the whole aim of the oppo is to prevent the ball carrier from making the ball available -- they are looking to force that turnover.

The clarification says the referee is to make a judgment

the referee then has a judgement to make:
i. When the ball carrier goes to ground and the ball is unplayable (i.e. the ball is not available immediately), through no fault of the ball carrier, then the referee awards a scrum as per 17.6(g).
ii. When the ball carrier goes to ground and that player fails to make the ball available the sanction is a penalty kick to the opposition as per 17.2(d)

seems to me (i) is more often likely than (ii)

ddjamo
01-12-15, 12:12
someone please define "failed maul."

The Fat
01-12-15, 12:12
someone please define "failed maul."

I'll have a stab.
Based on the context of the OP, I'd say a "collapsed maul" ????

Pinky
01-12-15, 14:12
Putting the ball on the ground does not form a ruck ! My exact point for starting this thread !!!

Womble, ball on the ground is a successful end to a maul, so now you are looking for the next phase and if there are folks on their feet closing round the ball, then there is indeed a ruck and it's hands off and get out of the way if you are off your feet.

ddjamo
01-12-15, 14:12
Once declared, a maul must end either successfully or unsuccessfully before play can transition out of maul law.

ddjamo
01-12-15, 14:12
I'll have a stab.
Based on the context of the OP, I'd say a "collapsed maul" ????

A legally collapsed maul - a maul on the deck without a penalize-able offense?

If that is what we are talking about - we are still in maul law until the maul has met the requirements to end.

Dixie
01-12-15, 17:12
17.2(d) is basically playing the ball whilst off your feet or something along those lines I think This is one of those clarifications that pose more questions than answers. 17.2(d) is a badly drafted law, ad the clarification adds to the problem.

(d) Keeping players on their feet. Players in a maul must endeavour to stay on their feet. The ball carrier in a maul may go to ground providing the ball is available immediately and play continues.
Sanction: Penalty kick

There are two components to this law. I suspect that the brief to the 12 year-old before the fellas went to a boozy lunch had this in mind:

(d) Keeping players on their feet. Players in a maul must endeavour to stay on their feet. Sanction: Penalty kick

Exception: The ball carrier in a maul may go to ground legally. Providing the ball is available immediately, play continues.

What we have got through the 12 year-old's unsupervised efforts is a poor wording that the Clarification has used to make it an offence to not make the ball available if you go to ground. So going to ground is legal, but failing to make the ball available is a PK offence. Bearing in mind that 17.2 is entitled Joining a Maul, I very much doubt that this newish offence while trying to end it was ever intended.:(:chin:

Wedgie
02-12-15, 09:12
Unhelpfully, the WR law video for 17.2d shows what should happen to satisfy the Law unlike (almost?) every other video which exemplifies what should not happen.

I am pretty sure that until that clarification is, umm, clarified and written into Law, I can't envisage a situation where I would be brave enough to give a penalty under 17.2d and sell it successfully......

ChrisR
02-12-15, 21:12
In the other thread on this I admit I was wrong to state that the maul had become a ruck as, although the ball may have been on the deck, the maul had collapsed and so there (probably) weren't players still bound over the ball.

However, I coach players (team in possession) to force the ball to ground if the forward drive is stalling. With ball on the deck and players bound over it this is now a ruck. Unequivocally. The maul has ended successfully and ruck law applies. If the ball now becomes unplayable then the team going forward gets the put. This prevents turnover ball. This is a far better tactic than the BC struggling to ground as per the next paragraph.

If the BC goes to ground, and dragging a knee qualifies, then the ball must be made available. If the ops are holding it up then it won't be and the referee should order the turnover scrum.

If the BC goes to ground and immediately puts the ball on the ground then the maul has ended successfully and ball has been made available to be played, albeit in a ruck.