Maul & the 'choke tackle'

Gracie


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Interesting situation today and I'd appreciate some views. Blue team in a maul situation consistently sought to enact a choke tackle on red players and then drag the player to ground. Once grounded they simply hung on and awaited the turnover and a scrum in their favour.

It appears legal because it was a maul, but was a destructive and disruptive approach. All views on the appropriate action appreciated and by the way I did give the scrums, but it just felt wrong!
 

The umpire


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Interesting situation today and I'd appreciate some views. Blue team in a maul situation consistently sought to enact a choke tackle on red players and then drag the player to ground. Once grounded they simply hung on and awaited the turnover and a scrum in their favour.

It appears legal because it was a maul, but was a destructive and disruptive approach. All views on the appropriate action appreciated and by the way I did give the scrums, but it just felt wrong!
That sounds like collapsing a maul and a penalty against them.
 

Ian_Cook


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Collapsing, definitely. IMO, if a team creates a maul by using a choke tackle, then they must try keep it up and try to stop its progress to get the turnover. If it collapses without fault, fair play, but if they intentionally bring it down after you have called "maul" then ping them.


What they are trying to do is have a dollar each way; create a maul, then end it by bringing it to ground so that they don't have to roll away. This is the down side of the maul turnover law.
 
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Pegleg

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You can't make a tackle in a maul. Penalty kick against blue.
 

Taff


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Isn't choking an opponent a PK anyway - regardless of whether they manage to collapse the maul or not?
 

Gracie


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I like the principle of collapsing the maul as a solution. Taff, the choke tackle is simply one wherein the defender holds the attacker upright so tight around the chest that they cannot release the ball, basically a strong her hug, so I have to see it as legal. Ian's point is close to the mark for me a downside to the new maul law. Many thanks guys
 

Pegleg

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I like the principle of collapsing the maul as a solution.

It's illegal.

17.2 (e) A player must not intentionally collapse a maul. This is dangerous play.
Sanction: Penalty kick
 

ChrisR

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From the OP: "Blue team in a maul situation consistently sought to enact a choke tackle on red players and then drag the player to ground. Once grounded they simply hung on and awaited the turnover and a scrum in their favour."

Blue 'choke tackles' Red and a maul forms. Inside the maul Blue force Red, still in the 'choke', to the ground then, still keeping Red in a 'choke', prevent her from releasing and so cause an 'unsatisfactory end of maul'. Whistle blows, Blue get the scrum.

Not so sure this is a collapse if only the Red BC goes to ground. In the maul Blue does not have to release Red BC, even when she is on the deck. On the deck could be one knee.

Therefore, if the above is an accurate account, smart play by Blue who clearly know the law and poor play by Red who should do the following:

. Use body positioning to keep the ball from being trapped in contact.

. If in a maul with the possibility of a turnover, stay on her feet but force the ball down to convert the maul into a ruck.

Now, if more than the BC hit the deck then you could say the maul collapsed.
 

Pinky


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Interesting situation today and I'd appreciate some views. Blue team in a maul situation consistently sought to enact a choke tackle on red players and then drag the player to ground. Once grounded they simply hung on and awaited the turnover and a scrum in their favour.

It appears legal because it was a maul, but was a destructive and disruptive approach. All views on the appropriate action appreciated and by the way I did give the scrums, but it just felt wrong!

Gracie, firstly, be sure it is a maul, ie there must be at least one other red player bound on. If so, then blue cannot force red to ground, and Ian is correct.
 

Pegleg

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From the OP: "Blue team in a maul situation consistently sought to enact a choke tackle on red players and then drag the player to ground. Once grounded they simply hung on and awaited the turnover and a scrum in their favour."

Blue 'choke tackles' Red and a maul forms. Inside the maul Blue force Red, still in the 'choke', to the ground then, still keeping Red in a 'choke', prevent her from releasing and so cause an 'unsatisfactory end of maul'. Whistle blows, Blue get the scrum.

Not so sure this is a collapse if only the Red BC goes to ground. In the maul Blue does not have to release Red BC, even when she is on the deck. On the deck could be one knee.

Therefore, if the above is an accurate account, smart play by Blue who clearly know the law and poor play by Red who should do the following:

. Use body positioning to keep the ball from being trapped in contact.

. If in a maul with the possibility of a turnover, stay on her feet but force the ball down to convert the maul into a ruck.

Now, if more than the BC hit the deck then you could say the maul collapsed.

Cannot agree with you. Once the maul is formed no one can do anything that is likely to collapse the maul / pull a player out of the maul etc.

The "smother hold" for choke tackle is not a tackle at all. It is actually the opposite as the point of it is to stop a tackle occurring and t/o is likely and the ball is smothered.

Law reference:

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

(e) A player must not intentionally collapse a maul. This is dangerous play.
Sanction: Penalty kick

17.3 OTHER MAUL OFFENCES
(a) A player must not try to drag an opponent out of a maul.
Sanction: Penalty kick
 

ChrisR

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Let me rewrite my interpretation of the scenario in the OP.

Blue choke tackles (for want of a better word) Red BC and prevents Red from off-loading (the purpose of the choke). A maul forms.

Still in the grasp of Blue, Red goes to ground (gets a knee down) but can't get the ball free.

Ball not immediately available so whistle and turnover scrum to Blue.

Same picture as the first post without the inside mechanics.

No penalty here unless you can discern that it was Blue that forced Red to ground.
 

Pegleg

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But the scenario is

"Blue team in a maul situation consistently sought to enact a choke tackle on red players and then drag the player to ground. Once grounded they simply hung on and awaited the turnover and a scrum in their favour."

So we have a maul and the "choke is on PLAYERS note the plural. If it is an open play / tackle situation what are blue team doing grabbing no ball carriers?

WE also have the second bit which tells us that Blues DRAGS the player to the ground.

It's a maul (stated in the OP). It was collapsed by BLUE (stated in the OP). PING and possible card of dangerous play. I can't see how you can interpret words in the OP as "before" a maul is formed.
 
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Browner

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I suspect that the maul going to ground, as described in OP, wasn't an obvious ' collapse ' probably it looked less obvious, albeit the referee knew it was likely desired outcome by the blues.
 

ChrisR

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Pegleg, each of us has a slightly different picture of events.

We need the original poster to clarify as follows.

Did Blue player(s) go to ground with the Red BC? If yes, then you have a good case for maul collapsing unless it is clear that Red BC intentionally goes to ground taking Blue with them.

Only Red BC going to ground? Hard to pin that on Blue although the OP seemed to think so. This is the scenario that gets the scrum turnover.
 

Pegleg

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Sorry I'm basing my call on the scenario as described:

1: There is a maul.

2: Blue "DRAGS" red to the ground.

I'd rather base it on that scenario than change it.
 

Taff


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... Taff, the choke tackle is simply one wherein the defender holds the attacker upright so tight around the chest that they cannot release the ball, basically a strong [bear] hug, so I have to see it as legal.
As long as it is around the chest or at least below the line of the shoulder I have no problem with it. What I do have a problem with is a player standing behind the BC with his arm around his neck to hold him up. If that's not inviting a retaliatory smack in the chops - nothing will.

You have the wrong end of the stick Taff. A "choke tackle" doesn't mean the tackler id literally choking the ball carrier.
The lawbook doesn't define a "Choke Tackle" but to me there's a difference between a bear hug or smother tackle and a choke.

Let me rewrite my interpretation of the scenario in the OP. Blue choke tackles (for want of a better word) Red BC and prevents Red from off-loading (the purpose of the choke). A maul forms.
What I would have called a "smother tackle" then? Probably more accurate as there was smothering but no choking.
 
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OB..


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Taff - I agree, but "choke tackle" has become standard usage, however misleading it may be.
 

Gracie


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Happy to clarify, maul called - then whenever Red were in possession, the Blue tactic was to choke tackle the rede player, preventing them from offloading, then drag the red player to ground. If they were able to get their hands on the ball, Blue simply hung onto it on the ground. Their view was that thus was all quite legal, the player in possession of the ball, or wrapped around a red player simply hung on until a scrum was awarded in their favour. Reading the views, in thus situation I think I can safely follow a pulling down maul penalty. There is not question Blue pulled the red players to ground. Hope this clarifies the situation.

BW]
G
 
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