Referees in England
- Mar 10, 2020
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- Current Referee grade:
- Level 15 - 11
the bold bit - isn't that what first happened in the OP
Are you referring to the OP by Gracie or the new post by number11?
I consider there to be a difference between the ball carrier going to ground and getting the ball to the ground. IMHO if the BC gets his body on the ground but the ball is not on the ground (e.g. BC gets a knee only to ground, or BC on his back with ball on his chest), then it is not a ruck; however, the BC is on the ground and is therefore obliged to release/play the ball.
In Gracie's post the BC went to ground, did not release, then got up again with the ball... penalty for not releasing on the ground.
In number11's post, either the maul has collapsed and is unplayable, since there is no mention of the ball being on the ground to create a ruck (law 17.17a and/or 17b, scrum) or green has intentionally gone off feet and killed the ball (law 17.9, penalty), depending on what actually happened. However, I'm not sure the correct decision if green had stayed on his feet, played the ball, and red (who is on the ground) did not release... penalty or scrum?
I suggest to only call a ruck if the ball is playable because I want to avoid a scenario where the team taking the ball into the maul expects to retain possession because they got the ball to ground and were going forward, but they have created an unplayable ruck (Law 19.1).
Edit - I was being lazy before, and I've now read through the earlier pages... Law Clarification 2/2011 tells us that if the ball carrier goes to ground and that player fails to make the ball available (ie does not release) the sanction is a penalty kick to the opposition.