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ctrainor
14-01-19, 23:01
I've looked at old threads and the laws but still can't make my mind up.
Red catch and drive from line out 10m out. I call maul.
Black eventually get defence sorted and stop forward momentum at 5m line.
Before I say anything red realise the momentum has stopped and ball carrier goes to ground and places ball on floor, where I can see it clearly.
Red scrum half about to pick it up but bodies from both sides collapse , not deliberately and ball is now unplayable.
I whistle say ball is unplayable in a ruck. Scrum red.
Black ask the question, politely "you can't turn a maul into a ruck sir"
I say you can and stick to my decision and we move on.
Whilst I hadn't called ruck, for me a ruck had been created.
Thoughts please and any law clarification references?

crossref
14-01-19, 23:01
I think that : technically speaking a maul can become a ruck, but nothing good ever happens to a referee who allows that to occur !

A maul ends and play continues when:
The ball or ball-carrier leaves the maul.
The ball is on the ground.
The ball is on or over the goal line.

Zebra1922
15-01-19, 01:01
One problem would be where the ball is located. Usually at the back of a maul, so when the ball/plater goes to ground his fellow players are ahead of him, therefore players from both sides are in contact on their feet ahead of the ball not over it.

Dickie E
15-01-19, 01:01
I would call that a collapsed & unplayable maul - turnover scrum. Red, get it out quicker next time.

Marc Wakeham
15-01-19, 09:01
For me the only way I will generally "allow" a maul become a ruck is is the BC goes to ground with the mass of the "Maul / ruck still on their feet and the players drive over (Safely) and the ball is presented "immediately".

Once a maul hits the deck I want to see the ball avaialbe or it is turnover ball.

So I would say yourscenrio sounds wrong. But I was not there!

Call what you see!

crossref
15-01-19, 09:01
For me the only way I will generally "allow" a maul become a ruck is is the BC goes to ground with the mass of the "Maul / ruck still on their feet and the players drive over (Safely) and the ball is presented "immediately".

!

Which for me is not a ball becoming a ruck, it's just a mail ending , and ball coming out ?

Dickie E
15-01-19, 10:01
For me, the only realistic way a maul can become a ruck is if the ball is dropped and players start playing the ball with their feet. I don't think I've ever seen it happen

Taff
15-01-19, 10:01
.... Whilst I hadn't called ruck, for me a ruck had been created. Thoughts please and any law clarification references?
My feeling is that if we are looking at a Ruck, then we treat it as a Ruck. Why complicate things?

The one thing we need to be clear on though is, is it a Ruck or a collapsed Maul, because the restarts are different. It sounds to me that you had a short lived Ruck. :chin:

Jz558
15-01-19, 10:01
The laws specifically allow the ball carrier to go to ground in a maul and dictate that the maul ends when the ball is on the ground. From the description in the OP, in principle, I am in agreement with ctrainor and Taff providing I can see a clear separation in time between the ball being placed on the floor and the formation collapsing ie I am happy that the ball carrier taking the ball to ground hasn’t created the collapse.

Pinky
15-01-19, 11:01
the short answer is you can turn a maul into a ruck - we've been over this before - as the ball being on the ground ends the maul - and a ball on the ground with players closing round it is a ruck. For me the key thing is whether this has been clear and obvious enough to justify thinking about a ruck phase of play as the outcome for any unplayable is different. If you think it a ruck has formed, then you have to ask why the ball cannot come out - no one other than the 9 should be thinking of handling it, and then you are into unsuccessful end to a ruck, which will be ball to side going forward.

OB..
15-01-19, 12:01
Before 1992, a scrum was awarded to the side going forward etc at unsuccessful rucks and mauls.
A scrum was awarded if “any player” went to ground, unless the ball was immediately available. (This presumably constituted a collapse.)

1992-3 The turnover law was introduced for both rucks and mauls.

1994-5 The turnover law was rescinded for rucks.

1996-7 “any player” was changed to “ball carrier”, but no mention was made of other players going to ground.

Around this time I had a conversation with Andy Melrose, RDO. His view was that a maul could be turned into a ruck if the ball itself went to ground eg placed or dropped (not forwards), but not when the ball carrier went to ground.

In 1994 many coaches/players thought that they could avoid a turnover if the ball carrier went to ground, but it was quickly made clear that was not the case, because it undermined the aim of the turnover law. That view now seems to have been eroded to the point of non-existence.

crossref
15-01-19, 12:01
I go back to my first point .. a maul probably can turn into a ruck but no good ever comes of it

Taff
15-01-19, 14:01
I go back to my first point .. a maul probably can turn into a ruck but no good ever comes of it
Surely that depends if you're the ones who managed to turn the Maul into a Ruck.

crossref
15-01-19, 14:01
I meant .. for the referee ! :)

Taff
15-01-19, 15:01
I meant .. for the referee ! :)
I've got no dog in the fight, so it makes no difference to me if it's a Ruck or a Maul.

As long as it makes sense in my head and I can justify my decision if somebody queries it, then I'm a happy bunny.

crossref
15-01-19, 15:01
I've got no dog in the fight, so it makes no difference to me if it's a Ruck or a Maul.

As long as it makes sense in my head and I can justify my decision if somebody queries it, then I'm relatively happy.

I think that if you decide that a maul has become a ruck your next decision is almost guaranteed to end up with 15/30 players thinking you have made an error, and quite few of them thinking you have made a Law error .

I think it's making life difficult for yourself.

Of course for a critical decision you would not care about that .. but is this a critical decision? And you 100% sure you are actually correct anyway ?

collybs
15-01-19, 16:01
Surely under Law 17d if a player goes to ground in a maul and the ball is not available it is a maul that has ended unsuccessfully and not a ruck.



Law 17
A maul ends unsuccessfully when:

a The ball becomes unplayable.

b The maul collapses (not as a result of foul play).

c The maul does not move towards a goal line for longer than five seconds and the ball does not emerge.

d The ball-carrier goes to ground and the ball is not immediately available.

e The ball is available to be played, the referee has called “use it” and it has not been played within five seconds of the call.

Taff
15-01-19, 16:01
I think that if you decide that a maul has become a ruck your next decision is almost guaranteed to end up with 15/30 players thinking you have made an error, and quite few of them thinking you have made a Law error.
But nobody questions it. Every team I know accepts that if there's a maul and ball gets to ground (and all the other conditions for a ruck exist) then we have a ruck. The only thing that can catch us out is if a BC goes to ground but can't get the ball to the ground, then we have a collapsed maul and not a ruck; and the restart is different.

Taff
15-01-19, 16:01
Surely under Law 17d if a player goes to ground in a maul and the ball is not available it is a maul that has ended unsuccessfully and not a ruck.
Surely, the only thing that counts is did the ball get to ground.

If the ball gets to the ground (not the ball carrier) and becomes unplayable, in your example why can't it be a ruck that has ended unsuccessfully?

TheBFG
15-01-19, 17:01
So ball gets to the ground a player on the defending side thinking if that comes out it's play on, dives on the ball and prevents it coming out, what do you give?

Jz558
15-01-19, 17:01
You'd give what you normally do for a player who dives on a ball emerging from a ruck.

Jz558
15-01-19, 17:01
I've absolutely loved reading OB's post on pre1992 law. I remember training drills on Tuesday and Thursday evenings duringthe late 80s where we used to spend hours practicing carrying the ball intocontact, dropping a shoulder and driving into the opposition. Turn around andpresent, at which point the first two members of your team arrived, linked armsbehind your body and drove because if you got the forward momentum then you gotthe put in at the subsequent scrum when the mob collapsed. Absolutely standardpractice.

Returning to the point however I also remember being told byan instructor on my Referee's course that a maul could never become a ruck. Outof deference for his experience I didn't argue the point. But he was wrong(and, as was mentioned on another thread recently, there's a law clarificationfrom 2011 to prove it).

crossref
15-01-19, 17:01
But nobody questions it. Every team I know accepts that if there's a maul and ball gets to ground (and all the other conditions for a ruck exist) then we have a ruck. The only thing that can catch us out is if a BC goes to ground but can't get the ball to the ground, then we have a collapsed maul and not a ruck; and the restart is different.

They will question it if it ends up being unplayable and you award a scrum .. see the OP

I think that if you announce a maul has become a ruck its a confusing call

Jz558
15-01-19, 18:01
Surely you cant be suggesting that, even if all the criteria for a ruck are met in accordance with the laws, that you should ignore that and call what you believe the average player can understand because he's not bright enough to realise anything different?

crossref
15-01-19, 18:01
Surely you cant be suggesting that, even if all the criteria for a ruck are met in accordance with the laws, that you should ignore that and call what you believe the average player can understand because he's not bright enough to realise anything different?

Give me a more specific scenario and I will tell you what I will do

But generally speaking a referee can certainly come a cropped by by being too focused on arcane law situations, yes.

I remember WB saying at a meeting something along the lines that if there is a decision that is plausible, that all 30 players would broadly speaking expect you to give ... It's most likely best to give it .

Even if you know of an obscure law that suggests the opposite

(That's a rule of thumb not a commandment )

Jz558
15-01-19, 18:01
I chose the phrase 'all the criteria for a ruck are met in accordance with the laws' because it was specific.

Otherwise I absolutely agree, do what is expected.

Which arcane/obscure law are you referring to? I assumed we werediscussing law 16.16b

crossref
15-01-19, 18:01
If we are discussing the scenario in the OP to me that sounds like a maul ending unsuccessfully.
Or do you have a different scenario in mind ?

Jz558
15-01-19, 19:01
To me it sounds like a ruck ending unsuccessfully but I guess that’s why we love the game. We can see what’s written but don’t interpretate it the same way

Taff
15-01-19, 19:01
To me it sounds like a ruck ending unsuccessfully ...
Same for me.


... Red catch and drive from line out 10m out. I call maul. Black eventually get defence sorted and stop forward momentum at 5m line. Before I say anything red realise the momentum has stopped and ball carrier goes to ground and places ball on floor, where I can see it clearly. Red scrum half about to pick it up but bodies from both sides collapse , not deliberately and ball is now unplayable.
If Black want the throw in, then they have to stop that ball getting to ground and forming a ruck. It came from a maul, so even if they failed to keep the BC from going to ground, there was was no requirement for them to release either the BC or the ball. It then becomes a collapsed maul and they get the turnover.

crossref
15-01-19, 19:01
To me it sounds like a ruck ending unsuccessfully but I guess that’s why we love the game. We can see what’s written but don’t interpretate it the same way

Fair enough.
It doesn't happen very often I think, but on those infrequent
occasions when you decide a maul has become a ruck I would advise a loud shout so that everyone realises what has happened and can play accordingly.

For instance would you now allow body rolls and similar techniques to clear out (which are allowed in a ruck but in a maul would be collapsing)?

(I just think a maul becoming a ruck is rife with complications, confusion and potential gotchas)

crossref
15-01-19, 19:01
Same for me.


If Black want the throw in, then they have to stop that ball getting to ground and forming a ruck. It came from a maul, so even if they failed to keep the BC from going to ground, there was was no requirement for them to release either the BC or the ball. It then becomes a collapsed maul and they get the turnover.

Now that sounds really confusing. It's become a ruck but if it collapses you will ref it as a maul again ?

ChrisR
15-01-19, 20:01
Dickie E got it right in his posts #4 and #7.

If player with the ball goes to ground and the ball is not immediately available the it's an unsuccessful end to the maul (see the OP) and a turnover.

If the ball is forced to the ground and all players stay on their feet then the maul has ended successfully. It is now a ruck.

That it rarely happens (but not never) is more of a coaching issue. I can make a case for it.

Taff
15-01-19, 21:01
Now that sounds really confusing. It's become a ruck but if it collapses you will ref it as a maul again ?
No, I reckon we have to decide if we are looking at a collapsed maul (and referee it as a maul, with turnover ball if it ends unsuccessfully) or a perfectly good ruck. It can't be both.

crossref
15-01-19, 21:01
No, I reckon we have to decide if we are looking at a collapsed maul (and referee it as a maul, with turnover ball if it ends unsuccessfully) or a perfectly good ruck. It can't be both.

For me, wait a second or so, if the ball disappears play on, if it doesn't , maul ended unsuccessfully

Dickie E
15-01-19, 21:01
That view now seems to have been eroded to the point of non-existence.

I was with you until this bit. Is this opinion based on your observation? I don't think I have ever seen a quality referee do this.

Marc Wakeham
15-01-19, 21:01
No, I reckon we have to decide if we are looking at a collapsed maul (and referee it as a maul, with turnover ball if it ends unsuccessfully) or a perfectly good ruck. It can't be both.

Stop using common sense!

thepercy
15-01-19, 21:01
Fair enough.
It doesn't happen very often I think, but on those infrequent
occasions when you decide a maul has become a ruck I would advise a loud shout so that everyone realises what has happened and can play accordingly.

For instance would you now allow body rolls and similar techniques to clear out (which are allowed in a ruck but in a maul would be collapsing)?

(I just think a maul becoming a ruck is rife with complications, confusion and potential gotchas)

Body rolls are only allowed on players that are poaching. The ruck forms when the ball his the ground and the players are bound over it, so there wouldn't be and poachers to roll.

Dickie E
15-01-19, 21:01
For me, wait a second or so, if the ball disappears play on, if it doesn't , maul ended unsuccessfully

disappears???

crossref
15-01-19, 21:01
Played away

ctrainor
15-01-19, 23:01
Good debate guys.
I believe I got it right.
Red got the ball to the floor and the ball was clearly available to play.
Before the scrum half exercised his options the ruck collapsed accidentally.

OB..
15-01-19, 23:01
I was with you until this bit. Is this opinion based on your observation? I don't think I have ever seen a quality referee do this.It was a note I made some years ago. What do you see a quality ref do?

crossref
15-01-19, 23:01
Good debate guys.
I believe I got it right.
Red got the ball to the floor and the ball was clearly available to play.
Before the scrum half exercised his options the ruck collapsed accidentally.

The only thing I'd say with that approach -- I think the moment you decided it was a ruck, you should have loudly called 'ruck' so that black knew how to compete for the ball (they needed to go forward) otherwise the last thing you called was 'maul' (you said you called 'maul') and so then a scrum to red is then a rabbit out of a hat.

similarly from the touchline, or from the backs it must have seemed like a clear mistake for them, so need some shouts or signals to explain

Dickie E
16-01-19, 00:01
What do you see a quality ref do?

once 'maul' is called, either it ends successfully or it's a turnover scrum. I've never seen a quality (ie elite) ref turn a maul into a ruck and give scrum to team going forward.

Taff
16-01-19, 10:01
once 'maul' is called, either it ends successfully or it's a turnover scrum. I've never seen a quality (ie elite) ref turn a maul into a ruck and give scrum to team going forward.
I've heard this said before, but genuinely gents we see it in almost every game; usually several times. There may not be a scrum because the ball usually gets recycled from the ruck.

crossref
16-01-19, 10:01
I've heard this said before, but genuinely gents we see it in almost every game; usually several times. There may not be a scrum because the ball usually gets recycled from the ruck.

If the ball is recycled then, of course, the question of whether it was a ruck, or still a maul is moot

The question becomes important only if the ball gets stuck

I dont think it's right to wait until the ball is stuck, and only then reveal to the players what you judge it was