View Full Version : A Maul or not a Maul, that is the question?

Phil E
16-02-08, 18:02
Game this afternoon. Two mixed bag teams, lots of players playing out of position. Very friendly, even game.

Defender gets the ball just outside his in goal area, attacker grabs him, another defender joins in. Maul formed.

The second defender then steps away (almost immediately) leaving just the ball carrier and one attacker. The attacker drags the ball carrier to the floor, everyone thinks its a tackle.

Much to everyones amusement I call a penalty against the attackers for collapsing the maul. As far as I was concerned the third player stepping away did not mean the maul was over.

Was I right?

I can see that it looked odd as the third person creating the maul was only involved for a few seconds.

16-02-08, 18:02
Technically you were correct. The IRB sent out guidance that if one team leaves a maul voluntarily, the maul is NOT over; however if they are forced out of the maul (eg the other team breaks through), then the maul IS over.

They have invented a distinction that does not appear in the laws, and I don't like it. But I don't count.

Phil E
16-02-08, 18:02
Yes OB, I had that guidance in mind when I called this, although the guidance was where several players were involved and the whole defending team stepped away. I saw this as the same as the guidance on a smaller scale.


18-02-08, 14:02
Hmmm... technicalities are sometimes a bad thing.

I suspect that the ruling is designed to prevent teams walking away from a formed maul and then calling for obstruction.

I find the idea that they do so and then get a benefit, a bit off.

However the attackers really shoud have had the nouse to just drive into in-goal, then drag him to the floor and force the 5m scrum.