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TheBFG
02-09-15, 15:09
WR Clarifications not being applied at top level what hope do we have on Saturday afternoon.

I've reffed 3 pre-season games so far one was a L6 v L7 the second was a L6 v L5 and the last was a L6 v L7 and none of those teams were aware of the WR clarification for the coming season (in the NH case), so I went through it with them. All teams had practiced in their pre-season sessions the catcher handing the ball back to another player who then reverses back through the maul which makes the maul almost un-defendable. so in the games when it happened we had a moment to discuss what I'd blown for, all teams accepted it and it didn't happen again.

AND THEN THIS WEEKEKD WE GET THIS!!!!!!!! :mad:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6dq35bqaBA&feature=player_embedded

Look at 1.48 & 3.10 on video clock.

please don't give me the "ah but this is TV rugby", these clarifications were sent down from WR, not the RFU, so this is something that ALL rugby should be doing.

crossref
02-09-15, 15:09
I am a bit lost - which clarification (or guideline) are you thinking of?

Dixie
02-09-15, 15:09
I am a bit lost - which clarification (or guideline) are you thinking of? Did you not get the secret email? Has it not been extensively covered in London's pre-season meetings? Are you being frozen out? Or is Somerset just showing off as the senior Society? I think we should be told.

crossref
02-09-15, 16:09
he he.

For some reason I was thinking 'have I missed something on LineOuts?'
but I have worked it out - BFG is referring to the Law Application Guideline entitled "Maul"
http://laws.worldrugby.org/?domain=9

Taff
02-09-15, 20:09
... I have worked it out - BFG is referring to the Law Application Guideline entitled "Maul"
http://laws.worldrugby.org/?domain=9
Somehow, I'd missed that. :(

Pinky
03-09-15, 00:09
At least the ref was consistent :smile:

ChrisR
03-09-15, 21:09
I don't object to a player taking the ball to the back of the maul. Once there I expect him to stay fully bound.

What seems to happen fairly frequently is a pod breaks off the maul and, without a defender bound to it, drives forward with the BC protected by offside players. This is very different than all defenders leaving and the maul should be ruled over.

TheBFG
04-09-15, 09:09
But the clarification doesn't say he can back through the maul and then bind, it just says "the ripper must be bound"

ChrisR
04-09-15, 13:09
The BC in a maul does not have to bind but must be bound. That means that he is legal if a teammate binds to him. It's very hard to discern that a BC backing through the maul has no teammate's arm binding him in.

Do you really want to go there? Not me. This means of moving the ball to the back has been adopted by every top level team as it's quicker and more secure. I don't see teams bemoaning its use so let it go.

I think the focus should be on staying bound once at the back and ending the maul if the rear pod breaks off.

TheBFG
04-09-15, 14:09
so why show the clip on the above link of WB giving an accidental off side if "they" don't want it policed :shrug:

Phil E
04-09-15, 14:09
In the WB clip the ball carrier forms a maul when temamates and the opposition bind on. All good.
Nobody back away through the maul, what happens is that the ball is handed back by the ball carrier to the person they call the ripper.
This ripper is at no time bound to the maul, he is behind the maul, arms length from it when the ball is handed to him.
You can see this when they freeze the action and put a red ring round him.

The accidental offside is for him then running forward into what was the maul. Not sure what you mean by "the catcher handing the ball back to another player who then reverses back through the maul"? He doesn't reverse anywhere, he just moves forward into the old maul, thereby causing an accidental offside.

I can't find anything on youtube at the time you say.

Ian_Cook
04-09-15, 22:09
In the WB clip the ball carrier forms a maul when team-mates and the opposition bind on. All good.
Nobody back away through the maul, what happens is that the ball is handed back by the ball carrier to the person they call the ripper. This ripper is at no time bound to the maul, he is behind the maul, arms length from it when the ball is handed to him.
You can see this when they freeze the action and put a red ring round him.

The accidental offside is for him then running forward into what was the maul. Not sure what you mean by "the catcher handing the ball back to another player who then reverses back through the maul"? He doesn't reverse anywhere, he just moves forward into the old maul, thereby causing an accidental offside.

Yes, I agree 100%

At this point, he is a ball carrier in open space with team-mates front of him, and if this happens at a line-out, the ball has left the lineout, and opponents are entitled to come through from their offside lines and tackle him. If he moves forward and makes contact with his team-mates, he has made them accidentally offside.

I have a couple of issues regarding what I am seeing referees allow at elite level with maul formation at line outs. In 2009, the iRB Maul Working Group said "The maul must be formed so that the opposition can contest the maul at the formation; this includes the formation of the maul at a lineout and from a maul formed after kick-offs or restart kicks."

Issue 1.
The catcher is being allowed to hand the ball back before his feet touch the ground, and then his lifters close in front of him or the "ripper", thereby denying access to either of them. Since the opposition are denied access to the player carrying the ball at all stages of this process, this type of maul formation is illegal.

Issue 2.
The catcher is brought to ground to the side of the lineout, and the two lifters close the space in front of him. IMO, the lineout is over if the catcher does not come to ground "in" the lineout - 19.9(b) "the ball or player carrying it leaves the line-out" - so the lifters are committing obstruction.


The whole maul formation at a line-out scenario needs a complete rethink. IMO they need to return to the actual definition of what constitutes a maul....

LAW 17 DEFINITIONS
A maul begins when a player carrying the ball is held by one or more opponents,
and one or more of the ball carrier’s team mates bind on the ball carrier. A maul
therefore consists, when it begins, of at least three players, all on their feet; the
ball carrier and one player from each team. All the players involved must be caught
in or bound to the maul and must be on their feet and moving towards a goal line.
Open play has ended.


1. No maul should be allowed to form unless the ball carrier is first being held by an opponent.

2. If the catcher at the line-out hands the ball back to a team-mate then the lineout should be over (ball has left the line-out). If he does so before he his held by a opponent, then it should not be possible to form a maul; any attempt to do so would be obstruction.

3. If a team wishes to form a maul at the lineout, then the catcher needs to keep possession of the ball and wait to be tackled. If the opposition choose not to tackle him, then he moves forward - the opposition will have no option but to tackle him. THEN a maul can form.



NOTE:

In May, I saw a very effective counter to maul formation in a local third grade club match.

Three, four or sometimes five members of the non-throwing team (depending on the opposition's numbers) would would line-up a ½ metre on their side of the LoT, in a crouched position like an NFL line of scrimmage but roughly interspersed with standing players. When the ball was thrown the receiver would yell out the name of a NZ Provincial Rugby team, then he would yell "GO!" as the catcher's feet were about to touch the ground, and all five crouched players launched like sprinters out the their starting blocks, taking out the legs of the lifters and catcher with legal arm wrap tackles around the ankles or at least below the knees. It worked every time, bringing the opposition's attempt to form a maul crashing down on top of them.

IMO, it looked dangerous, but the referee allowed it, penalising them only once when they got their timing wrong and caught the catcher marginally before his feet touched the ground.

PS: I figured out their calling system too; they also used a more complicated version of it when it was their throw in. What they were doing was supposing the line-out to be a map of NZ. The the 5m line was at the bottom of the South Island, the 15m line at the tip of the North Island. If the call was "Otago" or "Southland", the throw was to the front; "Wellington" or "Tasman" was to the middle; "Northland" to the back. Very clever.

The Fat
05-09-15, 21:09
NOTE:

In May, I saw a very effective counter to maul formation in a local third grade club match.

Three, four or sometimes five members of the non-throwing team (depending on the opposition's numbers) would would line-up a ½ metre on their side of the LoT, in a crouched position like an NFL line of scrimmage but roughly interspersed with standing players. When the ball was thrown the receiver would yell out the name of a NZ Provincial Rugby team, then he would yell "GO!" as the catcher's feet were about to touch the ground, and all five crouched players launched like sprinters out the their starting blocks, taking out the legs of the lifters and catcher with legal arm wrap tackles around the ankles or at least below the knees. It worked every time, bringing the opposition's attempt to form a maul crashing down on top of them.

IMO, it looked dangerous, but the referee allowed it, penalising them only once when they got their timing wrong and caught the catcher marginally before his feet touched the ground.


That tactic (the bit I have highlighted in red) would be illegal in my book. Clearly, they are playing a man without the ball. They are allowed to sack/tackle the catcher/ball carrier.

It is a bit like another tactic I am seeing more often lately where in general play, a ball carrier comes into contact with a defender (both in contact and standing upright), and a team mate of the ball carrier comes in and attempts to "clean out" the defender i.e. he makes no attempt to latch on to the ball carrying team mate or act as a hammer to propel his own player forward. His sole objective is to impede the would be tackler.

Back onto mauls in general, I'm sure we will see a full review of the maul following the RWC.
Currently, the maul is too one sided in favour of the team in possession and on many occasions is "permitted obstruction".
In the John Lacey video that BFG posted, there is a maul where most of the participating members of the team in possession go down and the last 3 or 4 players (including the ball carrier at the back) shift to go past the collapsed heap and JL calls "Same Maul". A try is scored. This makes it almost impossible to defend the maul and should be obstruction. It is really no different to "Changing Lanes" where the rear players in a maul break off and shift sideways before moving forward. Lots of referees penalise this but allow the first scenario I mention to carry on. Wayne Barnes had one such maul early on in today's France v Scotland game (which incidentally is currently Scots leading 16-12 at 69:00 mins).
IMO, if the front players in a maul go to ground, thereby resulting in the defending maul players effectively out of play with the ball carrier now at the back of several team mates, any other defenders who are on their feet and want to try to stop JL's "same maul" (which it isn't), are obstructed and are at a significantly unfair disadvantage. When this happens, there should be a call of "Use it".

Ian_Cook
05-09-15, 22:09
That tactic (the bit I have highlighted in red) would be illegal in my book. Clearly, they are playing a man without the ball. They are allowed to sack/tackle the catcher/ball carrier.

And if they can't get to the ball carrier because the catchers are in the way?

(remember, no maul has yet been formed)

The Fat
05-09-15, 22:09
And if they can't get to the ball carrier because the catchers are in the way?

(remember, no maul has yet been formed)

OK.
I get what you're saying now.
They are tackling the other guys to highlight the obstruction.
Yes?

Accylad
13-09-15, 10:09
I've never been convinced by the legality of the ballcarrier slipping backwards through the maul as described by B FG in the original post. I have penalised this for a couple of seasons now because the ballcarrier has teammates in my view getting in front of him and creating an obstruction. The May 2015 clarifications however don't quite cover that scenario perfectly and certainly elite referees do seem to allow the practice a la that barbarians game. I Penalised it again yesterday in a school boy match where the team i penalised are coached by one of the Gloucester forwards coaches and he clearly did not like my interpretation! BFG are you and I in a minority of two?! That said, I have been praised by couple of assessors for not allowing this tactic in the last season.....

Taff
13-09-15, 11:09
I have never understood the argument that opposition can't legally defend a maul.

Of course they can. If Reds have say 5 players in a maul, Blues can stick in say 7 or 8 players and stop it moving forward. Once it's been stationary for a few seconds (and they've had their "warning" eg "That's 1 Red") from my limited experience, that maul won't last long.

And I don't get the argument "But that will leave gaps in the Blue defence" either. Correct - it will. :biggrin:

Pegleg
14-09-15, 07:09
The point is Taff that a legal defence against a maul that allows a contest for the ball is virtually impossible. As has been highlighted in several posts above. Especially where the ball carrier is allowed to fingertip "bind" onto a body of his teammates that is bound on to the opposition.

I saw in highlights of a game yesterday the ball carrier doing just that and the defenders were penalised for "side entry" (ref's words not mine) and a yellow card was issued. The FIRST offence was the obstruction by the ball carriers team. Elite refs are just not interested in what the BC does (As long as my penalty count stays down and I reward "positive play" etc).

Ian_Cook
14-09-15, 10:09
I have never understood the argument that opposition can't legally defend a maul.

Of course they can. If Reds have say 5 players in a maul, Blues can stick in say 7 or 8 players and stop it moving forward. Once it's been stationary for a few seconds (and they've had their "warning" eg "That's 1 Red") from my limited experience, that maul won't last long.

And I don't get the argument "But that will leave gaps in the Blue defence" either. Correct - it will. :biggrin:

Playing Charter

Principles of the Game

CONTEST AND CONTINUITY

The contest for possession of the ball is one of Rugby’s key features. These contests occur
throughout the Game and in a number of different forms:
• in contact
• in general play
• when play is re-started at scrums, lineouts and kick offs.

The contests are balanced in such a way as to reward superior skill displayed in the preceding
action. For example, a team forced to kick for touch because of its inability to maintain the play, is
denied the throw-in to the lineout. Similarly, the team knocking the ball on or passing the ball
forward is denied the throw-in at the subsequent scrum. The advantage then must always lie with
the team throwing the ball in, although, here again, it is important that these areas of play can be
fairly contested.
It is the aim of the team in possession to maintain continuity by denying the opposition the ball
and, by skillful means, to advance and score points. Failure to do this will mean the surrendering
of possession to the opposition either as a result of shortcomings on the part of the team in
possession or because of the quality of the opposition defence. Contest and continuity, profit and
loss.
As one team attempts to maintain continuity of possession, the opposing team strives to contest
for possession. This provides the essential balance between continuity of play and continuity of
possession. This balance of contestability and continuity applies to both set piece and general
play.

As the Law currently stands, the only time that the ball is contestable at a maul is immediately prior to its formation. Once the maul is formed, the contest for the ball is over and IMO, despite WR declarations to the contrary, many mauls at elite level are formed illegally, i.e. in such a way that there is no reasonable opportunity for the opposing team to prevent a maul being formed.

Pegleg
14-09-15, 10:09
And this is the bit the has gone:

"This balance of contestability and continuity applies to both set piece and general
play."

OB..
14-09-15, 12:09
In a scrum , it is rare for a team to win back lost possession. Should pushover scrums be declared illegal?

For there to be a genuine contest for possession in a maul, the ball cannot be moved to the back - which also means the team in possession cannot get it out.

I think we have to accept that after the maul has been successfully formed, the contest is for field position.

OB..
14-09-15, 12:09
Stuart Berry: Hi Simon, thanks for your mail, good question. There is no real new law here, just a recap of what the law was. Players need to join a maul from next to or behind the ball-carrier – the ball-carrier can then ‘slip’ back in the maul behind these players accordingly to ensure he is protected at the back.http://www.sareferees.com/ref-replies/duty-ref-501--stuart-berry/2829633/

Accylad
14-09-15, 14:09
Well, that tells me I am wrong then OB.........!

Rich_NL
15-09-15, 10:09
For there to be a genuine contest for possession in a maul, the ball cannot be moved to the back - which also means the team in possession cannot get it out.

I think we have to accept that after the maul has been successfully formed, the contest is for field position.

A static maul results in a scrum against the team bringing the ball in - surely the non-carrying team still contest for possession this way?

OB..
15-09-15, 12:09
A static maul results in a scrum against the team bringing the ball in - surely the non-carrying team still contest for possession this way?That is not a contest for possession within the maul, which was my point.

Phil E
15-09-15, 12:09
The contest for possession of the ball at a maul is usually at the inception where more than one players have their hands on the ball.
Once the ball is at the back of the maul it is effectively won. The maul then becomes a pushing contest for territory; like a scrum once the ball is won.

Crucial
15-09-15, 20:09
The contest for possession of the ball at a maul is usually at the inception where more than one players have their hands on the ball.
Once the ball is at the back of the maul it is effectively won. The maul then becomes a pushing contest for territory; like a scrum once the ball is won.

I'd be happy with that viewpoint, that a maul becomes a territory contest, as long as the major territory gain advantage to the team in possession is somehow kept in check.

In a scrum the team with the ball cannot reorganize, split away or add players to drive to one side of the defenders, so the laws of offside serve good purpose.
In a driving maul the BC team can add players and shift the point of the drive with the advantage that defending players (waiting behind last feet to see which way they will go) cannot join to the side (or swim up, which is effectively allowed to the attacking team by the BC sliding back). The attacking side gets a 5m roll on before a defender can make it a pushing contest again.

So the maul either needs better balance between being a legit attacking tactic unique to the game and being uncontestable or as a pushing contest must be push straight just like a scrum.

OB..
15-09-15, 21:09
http://www.sareferees.com/ref-replies/duty-ref-501--stuart-berry/2829633/Interesting session at this evening's meeting. Briefing by Claire Daniels on the WR Directives for the RWC. She explained that once a maul has formed, it is agreed that the BC can slide back provided he remains bound in.

Ian_Cook
16-09-15, 03:09
In a scrum the team with the ball cannot reorganize, split away or add players to drive to one side of the defenders, so the laws of offside serve good purpose.
In a driving maul the BC team can add players and shift the point of the drive with the advantage that defending players (waiting behind last feet to see which way they will go) cannot join to the side (or swim up, which is effectively allowed to the attacking team by the BC sliding back). The attacking side gets a 5m roll on before a defender can make it a pushing contest again.

So the maul either needs better balance between being a legit attacking tactic unique to the game and being uncontestable or as a pushing contest must be push straight just like a scrum.


Also, in a scrum, the team being pushed back cannot remove players to reposition them when it goes sideways, or station them as defenders at the offside line. A scrum is more difficult as a pushing contest because the hindmost player has to dribble the ball to keep it in rather than pick it up and still be effectively bound to the scrum.


The similarity between a maul and scrum ends at the term "pushing contest". The only thing they have in common are that a ball and players are involved.

If WR really want a maul to be a fair contest, then they ought to allow one player, the acting scrum half, to "follow the ball" and to disallow this business of splitting the maul. and driving in a new direction.

TheBFG
16-09-15, 09:09
Interesting session at this evening's meeting. Briefing by Claire Daniels on the WR Directives for the RWC. She explained that once a maul has formed, it is agreed that the BC can slide back provided he remains bound in.

So why in the clarification videos do we see Barnes pinging the side for "accidental offside" for doing exactly that :chin:

Phil E
16-09-15, 10:09
So why in the clarification videos do we see Barnes pinging the side for "accidental offside" for doing exactly that :chin:

Because in the WB video the ball carrier detached from the maul and then rejoined.
It had nothing to do with the ball carrier sliding back through the maul.

OB..
16-09-15, 14:09
So why in the clarification videos do we see Barnes pinging the side for "accidental offside" for doing exactly that :chin:Because he lost contact.