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View Full Version : [Line out] The old unconctested maul chestnut. Did I get this right ?



CrouchTPEngage
28-10-18, 14:10
So blue v red.

Blue ask me before the game "Sir, can we just check but if we choose not to maul at the lineout, how will you interpret that ? ". I reply something like what I've been coached on "Well, providing you dont leave the lineout early, and depending on what happens we shout "use it !" and if it is not used then I would have to give a scrum for accidental offside"

80+ mins, red kick a penatly to touch. They've been mauling well all game and so everyone "knows" they will attempt a catch-and-driving maul.

Red catcher successfully catches the ball but Blue do not engage. Red's team-mates start to move into a maul poisiton but BEHIND the catcher. The catcher turned with his back to the blue try-line, doesnt pass the ball back to anyone. He simply moves ( walking backwards towards Blue's try-line ).
One of catcher's team-mates binds on one side of him ( but never in front ).
Blue step out of the way and claim "Sir ! Truck and trailer !". Ball carrier falls on the try-line and I award the try.
Cue jeers from spectators as it probably looked a bit "odd".
I explain to Blue that as the ball carrier was at the front, and the ball was never passed back, then they could have tackled him and, so , I couldnt see any obstruction.

I may have been led into a trap with the pre-kickoff question and wondered if I painted mysef into a corner. ?

Or is it obstrution becasue the ball-carrier was facing backwards with a team-mate bound onto his chest and above the ball ?

Taff
28-10-18, 15:10
Sounds OK to me.

I was caught out by this tactic a few times myself and made a conscious effort to understand it. I'm pretty sure there was a guidance from WR which backed up what I understood. In a nutshell, as far as I can see there are only 3 possible outcomes:


If the opposition leave the LO - it's a PK offence.
If the opposition create a legal gap and the ball is at the front - "Play on"
If the opposition create a legal gap and the ball is passed back - "Use it" and if they don't there is probably accidental offside.

It sounds to me like you had No 2, so it's "play on".

crossref
28-10-18, 16:10
I think
1 you reffed it correctly
2 your answer to the pre match question (if that is what you said) sounded a bit vague/sloppy, perhaps a take away is to have a rehearsed, more precise response ready (it's not an uncommon question)

Thunderhorse1986
29-10-18, 14:10
I think
1 you reffed it correctly
2 your answer to the pre match question (if that is what you said) sounded a bit vague/sloppy, perhaps a take away is to have a rehearsed, more precise response ready (it's not an uncommon question)

Quite often it is better to be even vaguer pre-match. Then you don't box yourself into a corner at all.

"Sir, we won't contest the maul after a lineout - how will you ref that?"
"Thanks for letting me know, but I will have to ref it and manage it as I see it at the time."

crossref
29-10-18, 14:10
Indeed.
I think it's helpful to say what the Law is, but I completely agree it's not a good idea to discuss hypothetical scenarios that may/may not look the same when they try them on the field

thepercy
29-10-18, 15:10
This is exactly why the Non-Contest at a maul formation is a poor tactic, it is easily defeated by keeping the ball at the front and walking in for a try.

didds
29-10-18, 15:10
This is exactly why the Non-Contest at a maul formation is a poor tactic, it is easily defeated by keeping the ball at the front and walking in for a try.

I'd temper that slightly and say the tactic in itself is fine BUT the defending side MUST be fully aware of ALL the implications and understand the follow up strategies to deal with various scenarios. Personally I'd not be keen on using it within our own 22 unlpess about 70 points down and everything else having failed anyway! LOL

didds

Rich_NL
29-10-18, 23:10
I think you were correct, but the answer you gave sounded like you'd have blown up for accidental offside.

Marc Wakeham
30-10-18, 09:10
Sounds OK to me.

I was caught out by this tactic a few times myself and made a conscious effort to understand it. I'm pretty sure there was a guidance from WR which backed up what I understood. In a nutshell, as far as I can see there are only 3 possible outcomes:


If the opposition leave the LO - it's a PK offence.
If the opposition create a legal gap and the ball is at the front - "Play on"
If the opposition create a legal gap and the ball is passed back - "Use it" and if they don't there is probably accidental offside.

It sounds to me like you had No 2, so it's "play on".



Answer two is the problem! When the ball carrier turns around HE is still at the front but the ball is not. So there is a slight inference that the ball carrier in the OP is obstructing the ball.

I think that is not right. For me the BALL CARRIER must be at the front and able to be tackled / bound on to. That the ball is not visable / available to the opposition is not ths issue.

So re-word to "2. If the opposition create a legal gap and the ball carrier is at the front - "Play on".


I think
1 you reffed it correctly
2 your answer to the pre match question (if that is what you said) sounded a bit vague/sloppy, perhaps a take away is to have a rehearsed, more precise response ready (it's not an uncommon question)

Agreed.

didds
30-10-18, 09:10
Indeed.
If not a player running forwards with the ball, would be obstructing a defender from the rear .

didds

Taff
30-10-18, 12:10
Answer two is the problem! When the ball carrier turns around HE is still at the front but the ball is not. So there is a slight inference that the ball carrier in the OP is obstructing the ball.
Sorry MW but I don't get that. Ball Carriers (BCs) routinely shield the ball from potential tacklers. Eg if there was a tap penalty and the ball passed to a player with his back to the opposition while 3 or 4 team mates ran different angles, we wouldn't call that obstruction.


... For me the BALL CARRIER must be at the front and able to be tackled / bound on to. That the ball is not visable / available to the opposition is not the issue.
But a BC can be tackled; there's nothing in the book that says the BC can't be tackled unless he's facing an opponent. LO players who catch the ball get "sacked" regularly.

Pedro
30-10-18, 14:10
I really dislike this tactic I think its trying to find loopholes in the law which really don't paint the game in a good light, that said - its perfectly legal and relatively straightforward to ref.
I'm also not a massive fan of a team captain asking me a question like that - effectively trying to bring me in on (part of) their tactical plan before the match - would I be out of order if I "made sure I gave both teams the same briefing" before the match - I.e. in practice - answered the question in front of the opposition captain..?

crossref
30-10-18, 15:10
I don't mind it, rugby has always been a game full of misdirection and subterfuge. Long may that continue (though I feel the Law Makers are against it)

I don't think it's a very effective tactic against an oppo who know what they are doing

But throw it in unexpectedly against an oppo who aren't very clued up and it wins you a scrum.

Conversely to what didds says I think people MOSTLY use it close to their own line , as they know the oppo are poised to maul it , and will need some quick thinking to stop themselves

didds
30-10-18, 15:10
maybe the word "close" is all relative CR :-)

In essence I wouldn't spend much time training for it I guess.

Meanwhile, chatting with the ref beforehand I think is more than reasonable, just to make sure he is on the same page as your own thinking. There's no point finding out in the game that you've conceded a try/PK because the ref disagrees with what you think the laws permit. I'm speaking more generically here.

didds

crossref
30-10-18, 18:10
I would advise a coach that if you are going to try anything unusual, it's a good idea to tell the ref first, so that he isn't confused by it, especially if it's something that might 'look wrong'

I think beware of asking him too much.

If you tell him about a move, there is no way he will relay that to the oppo

But if you ask him for advice / guidance tjere is a risk that he may feel he need to give the same guidance to the oppo

Zebra1922
31-10-18, 00:10
Someone asked me about this tactic at a recent game, they said they would not engage the ‘maul’ but come round to tackle the bc athe rear of the group of attaching players.

A few issues come from this, first of all the attaching team have already committed an accidental offside offence so I should probably blow for that, also I am not sure how the defending team can come round without being offside as usually the ball will not yet have crossed the LOT (we’ll not before I’ve already penalised for accidental offside).

Any thoughts on this scenario/defending tactic? (It never happened in the game so I don’t know how it would have looked in real life).

Dickie E
31-10-18, 02:10
the attaching team have already committed an accidental offside offence so I should probably blow for that,

but you would only blow after you have called "use it" and then given them 5 seconds to do so

crossref
31-10-18, 07:10
Someone asked me about this tactic at a recent game, they said they would not engage the ‘maul’ but come round to tackle the bc athe rear of the group of attaching players..



That would be leaving the lineout, so they can't

Taff
31-10-18, 09:10
Someone asked me about this tactic at a recent game, they said they would not engage the ‘maul’ but come round to tackle the bc at the rear of the group of attaching players.
Once the ball's been touched in the LO, the ball is their offside line until the LO is over, so how would they get "round" without crossing the offside line? :chin:


... Any thoughts on this scenario/defending tactic? (It never happened in the game so I don’t know how it would have looked in real life).
My guess is it would have looked a mess and all wrong. :biggrin:


I don't mind it, rugby has always been a game full of misdirection and subterfuge. Long may that continue (though I feel the Law Makers are against it)
I just get the impression that the law makers are happy with the tactic, but don't want to encourage it by giving them an easy PK, which is why they are suggesting a scrum for accidental offside first.

crossref
31-10-18, 10:10
I meant that the Law Makers are uncomfortable with misdirection and subterfuge generally .
Hence the mono ruck silliness , punishing whatbthry saw as an unusual tactic by Italy

Christy
31-10-18, 20:10
That would be leaving the lineout, so they can't

We were told ,,that if the ball goes to back ,,as others have said ,,tell them to use it .
Also if ball is at back ,,opposition are quite entitled to come around & tackle the ball carrier at the back of the non maul . Providing they had started after the ball has gone to back ..
They are allowed to tackle the ball carrier ,,they cant go around if ball is at front ,,as that would be off side ..( even if the ball ends up at back afterwards )
Often seen it happen & reffed same .

crossref
31-10-18, 21:10
I think this is a great question.
Here it is again

. Originally Posted by Zebra1922 View Post
Someone asked me about this tactic at a recent game, they said they would not engage the ‘maul’ but come round to tackle the bc athe rear of the group of attaching players..

Oddly enough I was asked exactly the same question earlier this season

Is it a thing ?

I would be interested in other people views ?

Taff
31-10-18, 21:10
We were told ,,that if the ball goes to back ,,as others have said ,,tell them to use it .
Also if ball is at back, opposition are quite entitled to come around & tackle the ball carrier at the back of the non maul . Providing they had started after the ball has gone to back.
This bit is confusing me Christy.

If the ball is handed from the front of the LO and ends up at the back of the "non maul" and we call "use it" then surely the team in possession have 5 seconds to get the ball away - so I can't see how the opposition can come around to tackle the ball carrier or to go for the ball. Doesn't the "use it" give the team in possession a 5 second period of protection to get it away? :chin:

Christy
31-10-18, 22:10
This bit is confusing me Christy.

If the ball is handed from the front of the LO and ends up at the back of the "non maul" and we call "use it" then surely the team in possession have 5 seconds to get the ball away - so I can't see how the opposition can come around to tackle the ball carrier or to go for the ball. Doesn't the "use it" give the team in possession a 5 second period of protection to get it away? :chin:

Hi taff .
Yes they are given 5 seconds to use it or loose it ,,as in scrum to opposition .
But its not a window of protection that they cant be tackled .
The use it call , is really the referees opportunity to try & keep the game flowing & to not award an immediate penalty for obstruction .. which is how it used to be refereed .

crossref
31-10-18, 23:10
The question is .. is the lineout over ?
If it's not over then they do indeed enjoy 5s of protection

Christy
31-10-18, 23:10
The question is .. is the lineout over ?
If it's not over then they do indeed enjoy 5s of protection

If the ball carrier keeps the ball at the front of maul formation .
And he is tacked straight away .
We would deem the line out over .
He has no 5 seconds of protection either .

So why would he , if he at back ..

I have never heard of the use it or loose it call , a way to protect the ball carrier at the back of a maul type formation ..its simply use it or you will be penalised ..

crossref
31-10-18, 23:10
In an ordinary ruck, a call of use it doesn't end the ruck , a call of use it doesn't allow the other team to come round .. as the ruck is still there , so they would be offside

Similarly here, if it's still a lineout they can't come roind

Christy
31-10-18, 23:10
In an ordinary ruck, a call of use it doesn't end the ruck , a call of use it doesn't allow the other team to come round .. as the ruck is still there , so they would be offside

Similarly here, if it's still a lineout they can't come roind

But thats not relevant here .
Because its not a ruck or a maul ...
Why is it still a line out .
The ball has left the tunnel , its been touched , or caught in this case & purpousely moved away from line of touch . ..& the ball carrier has been tackled , by a player who was previously on side .

Zebra1922
01-11-18, 00:11
Im interested in the comments about use it and a 5 second window. I know that applies to a maul or a ruck, but in guidance given on this non maul situation from WR I recall the use it had to be immediate. Would this change your view on whether the opposition could come round and tackle?

I think the answer should be no, mainly as the LO is not over so theyd be offside, and if the LO is over (I.e. the ball has gone through the LOT) the attacking team have offended and Id award a scrum before the tackle anyway.

crossref
01-11-18, 08:11
Everyone understands 'use it' to give you 5s

to unilaterally impose a different time would be a bit of a gotcha