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Thread: one man unplayable maul

      
  1. #1

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    Default one man unplayable maul

    happened in my game yesterday. Blue v Green.

    Blue take ball into contact and a maul forms. I call "maul" and the maul becomes stationary and then collapses.

    As luck would have it, as maul collapses, Green player ends up with the ball, on the ground, by himself but on the fringe of pile of bodies.

    Blue halfback attempts to pick up ball but Green player on ground refuses to let it go. Just to be clear, we have a 1 on 1 situation.

    Was Green entitled to hang on to the ball as the maul ended unsuccessfully or is he now obliged to let the ball go to player on feet?
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    Default Re: one man unplayable maul

    I'd give a scrum to green as blue took the ball in and did not recycle. No need to release when a maul collapses. This is assuming that there was no deliberate collapsing of the maul. My only concern with this response is that green ends up on his own, but I don't think that changes the answer.

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    Default Re: one man unplayable maul

    Quote Originally Posted by Dickie E View Post
    happened in my game yesterday. Blue v Green.

    Blue take ball into contact and a maul forms. I call "maul" and the maul becomes stationary and then collapses.

    As luck would have it, as maul collapses, Green player ends up with the ball, on the ground, by himself but on the fringe of pile of bodies.

    Blue halfback attempts to pick up ball but Green player on ground refuses to let it go. Just to be clear, we have a 1 on 1 situation.

    Was Green entitled to hang on to the ball as the maul ended unsuccessfully or is he now obliged to let the ball go to player on feet?

    You called "maul" so its a maul. It collapsed, so no-one has to roll away or release the ball. It looks wrong but it isn't

    Scrum to green.
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  4. #4

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    Default Re: one man unplayable maul

    I beg to differ. The ball was available and playable and the BC must make it available...he cannot deliberately make the maul unsuccessful. I say the BC has to let it go. Clarification 2-2011 backs this up.

    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.
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    Default Re: one man unplayable maul

    Thanks Menace however I wonder how germane the word "original" is to this. The Green player wasn't the orginal ball carrier.

    (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)
    I, for one, like Roman numerals

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    Default Re: one man unplayable maul

    Good point.
    I hate to be playing symantics...but I would think the intent of the clarification, and the game, was to look for ways of encouraging the ball to stay in play when there is a clear ability for the ball to stay alive (not be killed). Just as the wording suggesting that it's 'unsuccessful' from no fault of the players?

    To help facilitate this, when I see the ball is available to be played I'd look to manage it in these situation with 'let the the ball come' when it is clearly on one side (hopefully not backing myself into a corner when it doesn't, and most times players will listen and allow the ball to come out).
    Last edited by menace; 20-07-14 at 03:07.
    Tell em it's Law 23 and smile

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    Default Re: one man unplayable maul

    Quote Originally Posted by Dickie E View Post
    happened in my game yesterday. Blue v Green.

    Blue take ball into contact and a maul forms. I call "maul" and the maul becomes stationary and then collapses.

    As luck would have it, as maul collapses, Green player ends up with the ball, on the ground, by himself but on the fringe of pile of bodies.

    Blue halfback attempts to pick up ball but Green player on ground refuses to let it go. Just to be clear, we have a 1 on 1 situation.

    Was Green entitled to hang on to the ball as the maul ended unsuccessfully or is he now obliged to let the ball go to player on feet?
    I would make two points here.

    "Was Green entitled to hang on to the ball as the maul ended unsuccessfully or is he now obliged to let the ball go to player on feet?"


    By this statement you seem to have already decided that the maul has ended unsuccessfully. If that is the case, then your only decision can be, "Maul, taken in by blue with unsuccessful end, scrum green".

    BUT....... has the maul ended unsuccessfully?

    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.

    "Green player ends up with the ball, on the ground, by himself but on the fringe of pile of bodies."

    Green is on his own with the ball and not bound to or caught in the maul. Does this satisfy the highlighted text from Law 17.5 and therefore back the decision that menace would make? I believe it does and would call for the green player to release the ball to the man on his feet. If he fails to exercise the options of a player who goes to ground with the ball, then PK to blue. This is assuming that he took possession of the ball whilst still on his feet. If he was already on the ground and the ball came to him, he is not entitled to play the ball so still a PK to blue.

    I now await the inevitable cries supporting a player on the ground playing the ball
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    Default Re: one man unplayable maul

    dickie - I too had the same type of issue yesterday. after the maul went to the deck the side trying to win the turn over moved to bury the ball. they could have kept still and the ball may have come out. I blew it up quickly as the side that took it in was coming with the boots. I turned the ball over but warned them about unsportsmanlike actions and asked what they would do if the opposition did the same to them. I told them to let the chips fall and not to try and kill the ball intentionally. I then asked both skippers to adhere to it from that point forward - right or wrong, they bought in.

    definitely something that needs to be addressed by the lawmakers but in the meantime what law would you hang your hat on here or would you allow them to move around and kill the ball?

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    Default Re: one man unplayable maul

    The onus and law expectation is for the side taking it into the maul to make it playable.
    Licence is given 'only' to the BC to facilitate making it playable if it collapses, but no one else.

    Opposition that can prevent this by ANY legitimate means & get rewarded with a possession turnover. That's not unsportsmanlike, its lawful.

    Green scrum for me.

    PS... Arriving 'boots' have no authority in a collapsed maul, if they look 'threatening' blow quickly.

  10. #10

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    Default Re: one man unplayable maul

    Quote Originally Posted by ddjamo View Post
    dickie - I too had the same type of issue yesterday. after the maul went to the deck the side trying to win the turn over moved to bury the ball.
    Yes, I wouldn't allow that either. When the maul hits the deck I'm OK with suspended animation but wouldn't allow someone to start competing for the ball.
    I, for one, like Roman numerals

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