[Maul] Ball carrier get knees on the ground

Paule23


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I can't figure out what the right answer/response is here. Open play then collision (no tackle as BC not brought to ground), maul develops then the BC manages to get his knees on the ground (normally by dropping lifting their legs and using their body weight to get to the ground).

What happens next? The rest of the maul is still upright, it doesn't seem right to call release for a tackle (as we have or had a maul) but you can't let this go on as the BC is now on the ground.

What's the correct treatment?
 

Pegleg

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It's not a tackle agreed (unless it happens very quickly - Let it breath!) So it is a maul that has now ended. Is the ball available? If so let it come. If not PEEP and it's an unsuccessful end to a maul. Turnover ball (allowing for stated exceptions)
 

menace


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Depending on the dynamics of the maul and what happens is it not possible for the BC to be penalised?

d) Keeping players on their feet. Players in a maul must endeavour to stay on their feet. The ball carrier in a maul may go to ground providing the ball is available immediately and play continues.

Sanction: Penalty kick

As I understand it, if the BC is being dominated in the maul grimly holds on to the ball and effectively prevents play from continuing then hes liable for sanction (it hasnt collapsed and hasnt stopped either).
 

chbg


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As I understand it, if the BC is being dominated in the maul grimly holds on to the ball and effectively prevents play from continuing then hes liable for sanction (it hasnt collapsed and hasnt stopped either).

Do you really mean this, or only in conjunction with the BC going to ground?
 

chbg


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There was a clarification for this scenario in 2011.

Ie http://laws.worldrugby.org/?domain=10&clarlaw=17&clarification=83

5 years on, one would hope that the Clarification had been assumed into Law, particularly as three of the questions relate to Law, rather than the application.

It seems that we are required to differentiate between 17.2d and 17.2g:


[LAWS]17.2(d) Keeping players on their feet. Players in a maul must endeavour to stay on their feet. The ball carrier in a maul may go to ground providing the ball is available immediately and play continues.

Sanction: Penalty kick[/LAWS]


[LAWS]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.[/LAWS]

I would have always applied 17.6g until now, as I rather thought that the sanction in 17.2d applied to players other than the BC. But I can see that if the BC on the ground (kneeling, sitting or prone) deliberately prevents the ball from being made available outside the maul, by hanging on grimly e.g. on the opposition's side of the maul, then he is to be sanctioned. If too many people in the maul are holding the ball, or otherwise legally preventing it from leaving, then it is a turnover scrum.

I think that the Clarification almost does achieve its purpose (with one addition):

(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 [to leave the maul] the sanction is a penalty kick to the opposition as per 17.2(d)
 

ChrisR

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If the BC is on the ground, one knee or otherwise, and he is clearly in sole possession and not making the ball available then 17.2(d) would apply.However, the BC often tries to go to ground to wrest the ball away from the ops who have wrapped him up. This can be a problem as it will be difficult to determine and the ops have no requirement to let go. Best to apply 17.6(g) and award the scrum.One situation not clearly covered is when the BC gets to ground but releases the ball to players still on their feet and the maul continues without him. I'd say play on.
 
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DocY


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Can't say I've ever seen a BC penalised for not making the ball available in a maul.
 

menace


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Do you really mean this, or only in conjunction with the BC going to ground?

Yes in conjunction with BC going to ground. Apologies for causing confusion with that omission of a vital point.:redface:
 

menace


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Can't say I've ever seen a BC penalised for not making the ball available in a maul.

I think it's one of those laws that have been put by the wayside due to so much focus on 'maul collapsing' as a turnover. Every collapse scenario seems to be put in that basket.

Players dont seem to know about it either so if a ref calls it as a PK there would be many puzzled looks at the ref.

I agree with ChrisR...it probably best only used when crystal clear BC not making it available and that's only likely to be seen when there are only 3 in the maul!
 

Dickie E


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I agree with ChrisR...it probably best only used when crystal clear BC not making it available and that's only likely to be seen when there are only 3 in the maul!

probably goes without saying that he only needs to make it available to players on their feet
 

Pinky


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I have never thought that the PK sanction in 17.2(d) would apply to a ball carrier. The sentence about the ball carrier is almost an exception to the PK for going off feet. The sanction for a BC going off his feet is a scrum.
 

ChrisR

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I have three questions:

1. If the BC in a maul goes to ground and releases the ball, but the ball is still under the feet of the players in the maul, has he made the ball "available"?

2. In scenario #1. If the maul had stopped moving for a second time before the ball is placed on the ground (to create the ruck) is that turnover ball? In other words: Can a team, by forcing the ball to the ground in a stalled maul, get the subsequent scrum feed or is it still turnover ball?

3. If the BC in a maul goes to ground but releases the ball to players in the maul can the maul continue without him?
 

DocY


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My opinions, for what they're worth:
I have three questions:

1. If the BC in a maul goes to ground and releases the ball, but the ball is still under the feet of the players in the maul, has he made the ball "available"?
I'd say so. There's probably not a lot more he could do and it would be available for the members of the what-has-become-a-ruck to play the ball with their feet.
2. In scenario #1. If the maul had stopped moving for a second time before the ball is placed on the ground (to create the ruck) is that turnover ball? In other words: Can a team, by forcing the ball to the ground in a stalled maul, get the subsequent scrum feed or is it still turnover ball?
The pertinent point is whether it became a ruck before the team who took it in should have used it. If I'd told them to use it before the ball got to ground, it's coming out or it's a turn over.

3. If the BC in a maul goes to ground but releases the ball to players in the maul can the maul continue without him?
I'm imagining a situation where you have a definite BC in the middle of a well established maul who manages to get down on his back (ball still off the floor) and a player takes it off him then. In that case, where there are no infringements by either team, I'd say that's the same maul.
 
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