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Thread: Is it always an automatic ruck when maul ends legally by going to ground ?

      
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    Default Is it always an automatic ruck when maul ends legally by going to ground ?

    Finally, it has happened. I got a team trying to use the "Italy no competing" tactics at ruck and maul this weekend.
    Generally I was happy that I got the calls right. ( a couple of lineout non-mauls were formed and ended up in the accidental offside decision as the 9 decided to ignore my "use it" call long enough )

    A problem arose at a couple of mauls ( which were contested mauls from open-play ).
    The maul went to ground, the ball was immediately available at the back and the ball was on the ground.
    There was only 1 defender in the original, maul and he was now on the ground. The 9 has the ball at his feet and was looking around to see where he should pass to.
    The other defending backs then came around the side of the maul ( now ruck ) to block the 9's pass.
    I called it offside because I thought that when a maul collapses (legally) like this, a ruck is automatically formed. Hence offside line established. The defenders view was that there was no ruck as they chose not to compete in any ruck and hence they were perfectly entitled to walk around the collapsed maul and stand wherever they wanted. Something like "The maul has ended , Sir. ! Hence no more offside line !"

    Any advice please ?

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    Default Re: Is it always an automatic ruck when maul ends legally by going to ground ?

    No it's not a ruck (by definition) I'd say and I think from your post you're in the realms of a collapsed maul (not illegally) and the ball is available to be played.

    That being the case the maul hasn't ended (although law suggests if the ball's on the floor the maul has ended). Anyway on the premise the maul hasn't ended (my view) then the off side lines still exist and as such the hind most foot applies even if those feet are prone and/or heads and arms.

    I would keep them on-side behind their respective off side lines. I think 17.6(g) applies:-


    17.6 (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.


    That's my view and on the occasions it happens in my games I'll call the "ball's available - use it". No one has had the brass neck to do as your team(s) did but in my view that just smacks of smartarseness. I'd PK them if they persisted and point at the above law reference if they asked - in the club house later.

    We'll see what transpires from the great and the good and Phil E.
    Last edited by Lee Lifeson-Peart; 10-04-17 at 10:04.
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    Default Re: Is it always an automatic ruck when maul ends legally by going to ground ?

    It's not a ruck because there are not players on their feet over the ball. This would only happen if the ball carrier drops or places the ball on the floor (not forward) and the maul participants remain on their feet.
    So it's a collapsed maul and the maul is not over. Back foot stil applies.

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    Default Re: Is it always an automatic ruck when maul ends legally by going to ground ?

    I would have thought it becomes just a "collapsed" maul in that moment. The offside line surely remains until such time as he blows his whistle to call it dead for ending unsuccessully?

    He can allow play to develop into something else, use it. but until it does they cannot come around!

    i guess we see often refs calling ruck if they see it to clarify the situation for all?
    Last edited by ChuckieB; 10-04-17 at 11:04.

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    Default Re: Is it always an automatic ruck when maul ends legally by going to ground ?

    Thanks Phil E ! Glad to know that I got the right result in the end ( even though applying a different interpretation ). At the time, I was thinking that the Maul had definitely ended due to one of the conditions of law 17.5 begin satisfied:

    Law 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.

    The players has clearly been coached to try to run around a collapsed mail, hence it makes you think they must have studied the law-book. Interesting nonetheless.

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    Default Re: Is it always an automatic ruck when maul ends legally by going to ground ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil E View Post
    It's not a ruck because there are not players on their feet over the ball. This would only happen if the ball carrier drops or places the ball on the floor (not forward) and the maul participants remain on their feet.
    So it's a collapsed maul and the maul is not over. Back foot stil applies.
    I agree.

    By convention (at least) we allow a referee to call "use it" if the ball is immediately available at a collapsed maul. It makes nonsense of the convention if the maul is deemed to be over and offside lines disappear.
    He trudg’d along unknowing what he sought,
    And whistled as he went, for want of thought.
    The Referee by John Dryden

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    Default Re: Is it always an automatic ruck when maul ends legally by going to ground ?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChuckieB View Post
    I would have thought it becomes just a "collapsed" maul in that moment. The offside line surely remains until such time as he blows his whistle to call it dead for ending unsuccessully?

    He can allow play to develop into something else, use it. but until it does they cannot come around!

    i guess we see often refs calling ruck if they see it to clarify the situation for all?
    ......when they see the situation as having developed into something else, that is.

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    Default Re: Is it always an automatic ruck when maul ends legally by going to ground ?

    I had an slightly unusual maul situation at the weekend.

    A maul formed, and attacking team were moving forwards. Ball carrier at the back then had a teammate bind on to him, and they broke away in a peeling motion, just as a defender managed to latch on to him. End result was all 3 going to ground, ball unplayable, scrum to attacking team.

    Defending team felt the maul was unsuccessful and this was a turnover; I deemed that the maul completed just before defender engaged the ball carrier, with a tackle and subsequent ruck. Certainly caused a few raised eyebrows anyway.

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    Default Re: Is it always an automatic ruck when maul ends legally by going to ground ?

    A collapsed maul can´t become a ruck. So either the ball is playable immediately, with offside lines, or a scrum is in order.

    Does it have any effect, that another player latched on to ballcarrier braking away from the maul? Or is it just like a teammate pushing the ballcarrier into contact?

    btw Winchesterref, are you at the Winchester Easter 7´s?

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    Default Re: Is it always an automatic ruck when maul ends legally by going to ground ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hillbob View Post
    A collapsed maul can´t become a ruck. So either the ball is playable immediately, with offside lines, or a scrum is in order.

    Does it have any effect, that another player latched on to ballcarrier braking away from the maul? Or is it just like a teammate pushing the ballcarrier into contact?
    i often here a maul cant become a ruck .
    there was a law question asked in 2002 & answered
    with a top up answer pasted below in red .
    { it might not be exact same scenario as original poster , but worth having in your Armour }


    Ruling2-2011
    Union / HP Ref ManagerARU
    Law Reference17
    Date14 November 2011
    Request
    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 s

    Ruling
    2-2011

    Union / HP Ref Manager
    ARU

    Law Reference
    17

    Date
    14 November 2011
    Last edited by Ian_Cook; 11-04-17 at 02:04. Reason: Fixed quote BBCode

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