PDA

View Full Version : [Maul] Why does the ball carrier have to be at the back?



Paule23
16-01-17, 19:01
As I understand it, once a maul has formed the ball should always be at the back of the maul, so as players join on the ball carriers side, the ball should be passed back through the maul so the last rear most person in the mail has the ball. If the ball stays in the middle of the ball the team are penalised for......and this is where I struggle.

Should a team be penalised if the ball remains in the middle, or even at the front of a maul, as long as that maul is moving forward?? I cannot find any law reference which says the ball has to be at the back of the maul, or that prevents players joining from behind the ball carrier and the ball remaining in front of them.

Ian_Cook
16-01-17, 20:01
The ball carrier in a maul does not have to be at the back.

What cannot happen is that the ball carrier "slips" to the back. If the team in possession at the maul want the ball at the back, they have to pass it back.

There is no requirement in Law for players to join behind the ball carrier (as such). What they must do is join no further forward than the hindmost player, who may or may not be the ball carrier.

didds
17-01-17, 00:01
If its at the back its available top the scrum half ||(typically!) to play it away of the ref calls use it.

Its "tactical" not illegal in itself to not have the ball in the middle of the maul.

didds

Ian_Cook
17-01-17, 00:01
If its at the back its available top the scrum half ||(typically!) to play it away of the ref calls use it.

Its "tactical" not illegal in itself to not have the ball in the middle of the maul.

didds

Agree. There are sound tactical reasons why teams get the ball to the back quickly. The first is the one you mentioned

Another two are

a) the ball at the back is more difficult for opposition maulers to compete for. If the ball is near the front, an opposing mauler will find it easier to get his hands in and latch on.


b) if the maul collapses in a "no fault" collapse, a ball at the back is more likely to be playable. A ball in the middle of the maul is more likely to be unplayable, and that would lead to a turnover.

Dickie E
17-01-17, 04:01
c) if the ball carrier is the hindmost player it gives him options: go open, go blind, take teammates with him, etc

Paule23
17-01-17, 08:01
Agree. There are sound tactical reasons why teams get the ball to the back quickly. The first is the one you mentioned

Another two are

a) the ball at the back is more difficult for opposition maulers to compete for. If the ball is near the front, an opposing mauler will find it easier to get his hands in and latch on.


b) if the maul collapses in a "no fault" collapse, a ball at the back is more likely to be playable. A ball in the middle of the maul is more likely to be unplayable, and that would lead to a turnover.

This second point is very interesting, 17.6 b says that there is a scrum if the ball is unplayable or the maul collapses. There is no mention of not awarding a scrum if a maul collapses but the ball is available. What is the general consensus here? I allow play to continue if the ball is immediately available, is this right?

DocY
17-01-17, 09:01
This second point is very interesting, 17.6 b says that there is a scrum if the ball is unplayable or the maul collapses. There is no mention of not awarding a scrum if a maul collapses but the ball is available. What is the general consensus here? I allow play to continue if the ball is immediately available, is this right?

Yep, if it's immediately available, play on - i.e. you can see where it is and there's nothing stopping the SH picking it up.

I've had a few coaches and players ask me about the ball carrier having to be at the back. It must be something in the wording of the guidelines about slipping to the back. They've put all the emphasis on to the back rather than handed back.

didds
17-01-17, 09:01
Good points all.

Didds

Paule23
17-01-17, 12:01
Good points all.

Didds

agreed, thanks all for the input, this will really help me at maul time!

Now onto solving my ruck refereeing, oh and positioning, the tackle, line out.........

Ian_Cook
17-01-17, 12:01
This second point is very interesting, 17.6 b says that there is a scrum if the ball is unplayable or the maul collapses. There is no mention of not awarding a scrum if a maul collapses but the ball is available. What is the general consensus here? I allow play to continue if the ball is immediately available, is this right?


Also fast forward to 17.6 (g)

(g) 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.
When the ball is available to be played the referee will call “Use it!” after which the ball must be played within five seconds. If the ball is not played within five seconds the referee will award a scrum and the team not in possession of the ball is awarded the throw-in.

More often that not, when a maul collapses, the ball carrier has gone down with it.

Pegleg
17-01-17, 14:01
This second point is very interesting, 17.6 b says that there is a scrum if the ball is unplayable or the maul collapses. There is no mention of not awarding a scrum if a maul collapses but the ball is available...

There is in the rest of 17.6

Dickie E
18-01-17, 04:01
More often that not, when a maul collapses, the ball carrier has gone down with it.

We are OK with the ball carrier intentionally going to ground in a maul and definitely not OK with opponents collapsing a maul. What do we feel about the team mates of the ball carrier "assisting" him to go to ground by, perhaps, lending their weight to his downward motion? You may see this when the opponents are trying to keep him on his feet to win the turnover scrum.

DocY
18-01-17, 12:01
We are OK with the ball carrier intentionally going to ground in a maul and definitely not OK with opponents collapsing a maul. What do we feel about the team mates of the ball carrier "assisting" him to go to ground by, perhaps, lending their weight to his downward motion? You may see this when the opponents are trying to keep him on his feet to win the turnover scrum.

I penalised someone for this over Christmas. The principle was the same even if it was far less subtle than you describe.

A prop came in and collapsed the maul in exactly the same way a defender would (grabbing a player around the torso and pulling him back and down) - he just came from the other side and was wearing the wrong shirt!

beckett50
18-01-17, 19:01
We are OK with the ball carrier intentionally going to ground in a maul and definitely not OK with opponents collapsing a maul. What do we feel about the team mates of the ball carrier "assisting" him to go to ground by, perhaps, lending their weight to his downward motion? You may see this when the opponents are trying to keep him on his feet to win the turnover scrum.

Had this very thing a few seasons back (and reported on a thread in this forum somewhere). The attacking #7 leaned back and dragged the whole thing down.

Penalised him and he was incredulous and informed me that because they were attacking he could do what he wanted, even collapse the maul!!

L'irlandais
18-01-17, 20:01
Had this very thing a few seasons back (and reported on a thread in this forum somewhere). The attacking #7 leaned back and dragged the whole thing down.

Penalised him and he was incredulous and informed me that because they were attacking he could do what he wanted, even collapse the maul!!This one (http://www.rugbyrefs.com/showthread.php?8830-URBAN-MYTH-ohi-velostcount!/page4&highlight=Mail+collapse)? From the archives.

Dickie E
19-01-17, 02:01
Had this very thing a few seasons back (and reported on a thread in this forum somewhere). The attacking #7 leaned back and dragged the whole thing down.

Penalised him and he was incredulous and informed me that because they were attacking he could do what he wanted, even collapse the maul!!

OK but what about the no-so-overt ones?

Ball carrier is desperately trying to get to ground but is being prevented by opponents who are holding him up. Can ball carrier's team mates "assist" him to get to ground?

Elpablo73
19-01-17, 14:01
From a talk I went to a few months ago a very similar question was asked and the answer was:

"Yes, as long as it only assisting the ball carrier to ground and does not cause any other player to go off their feet. If the assisting player does cause other players to go off their feet they should be deemed to have tried to collapse the maul and a penalty kick awarded."

DocY
19-01-17, 15:01
From a talk I went to a few months ago a very similar question was asked and the answer was:

"Yes, as long as it only assisting the ball carrier to ground and does not cause any other player to go off their feet. If the assisting player does cause other players to go off their feet they should be deemed to have tried to collapse the maul and a penalty kick awarded."

Sounds fine in a technical sense, but in practice I'm not sure a team mate can help the BC to ground without pulling the maul down except for pulling opponents arms off the BC.

It does have to be obvious, though, and it's usually going to be difficult to say a team mate (of the BC) caused the maul to go to ground, unless they're particularly obvious about it.

Rich_NL
19-01-17, 16:01
Sounds fine in a technical sense, but in practice I'm not sure a team mate can help the BC to ground without pulling the maul down except for pulling opponents arms off the BC.

A couple of locks leaning on a held-up player's shoulders can assist gravity greatly.

DocY
19-01-17, 17:01
A couple of locks leaning on a held-up player's shoulders can assist gravity greatly.I agree, but if there are arms wrapped around the BC, these locks are going to help collapsing the maul. You could argue that they aren't if their only downward contact is with the BC, but in a practical sense, I'm not sure that's very sensible.

Either way - it's not something I'm looking for or likely to spot.