Maul to ruck and end of maul question

Jonathan355


Referees in England
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
22
Post Likes
0
Current Referee grade:
Level 15 - 11
I’m sorry to ask a question that has probably been asked many times but I need advice. Sorry for the long explanation. There is much debate about whether a maul can turn into a ruck. Mine is a variation of it: The ball carrier in a maul takes the ball to ground. The rest of the maul collapses in front of him (no intent). He ends up at the back with his own players in front of him, some on the floor and some on their feet. The ball is on the ground and he could make it available. Presumably the maul is over at that point. The ball carrier hangs onto the ball. One of the team not in possession reaches over the fallen players and tries to take the ball from the player on the ground. So, is it open play at that point and the player on the ground has to release the ball or give away PK or is the maul not complete and is the player trying to get hold of it offside because his only option is to join the maul?
 
Solution
Sounds like the standard of play where people don't really know what they are doing and whether it is legal or not. If you were unable to manage the situation, then possibly the most equitable action would have been to judge that the ball was not made immediately available and therefore scrum turnover. But really hard to describe and visualize exactly as it may have happened.

Jonathan355


Referees in England
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
22
Post Likes
0
Current Referee grade:
Level 15 - 11
I’m sorry to ask a question that has probably been asked many times but I need advice. Sorry for the long explanation. There is much debate about whether a maul can turn into a ruck. Mine is a variation of it: The ball carrier in a maul takes the ball to ground. The rest of the maul collapses in front of him (no intent). He ends up at the back with his own players in front of him, some on the floor and some on their feet. The ball is on the ground and he could make it available. Presumably the maul is over at that point. The ball carrier hangs onto the ball. One of the team not in possession reaches over the fallen players and tries to take the ball from the player on the ground. So, is it open play at that point and the player on the ground has to release the ball or give away PK or is the maul not complete and is the player trying to get hold of it offside because his only option is to join the maul?
 

Decorily

Coach/Referee
Joined
May 3, 2013
Messages
1,229
Post Likes
248
Current Referee grade:
Select Grade
Hi there and welcome, ,
I'm thinking there is no easy answer to your question and probably no one correct answer.

Ball carrier takes ball to ground and rest of 'maul' collapses in front. In the scenario I'm envisioning here the maul has ended when the ball carrier has effectively left the maul and dropped to the ground and so it is now an open play situation... so ball carrier should be penalised for not releasing when the opposition player on their feet looks to take the ball.

Otherwise it could be a scenario where a maul collapses and a player not involved in theauld has come in to prevent the ball carrier making the ball 'available '

Is it one of these or some other variation?
 

Jonathan355


Referees in England
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
22
Post Likes
0
Current Referee grade:
Level 15 - 11
Thank you v much for the welcome and the answer. That’s really helpful. It was the first. Just curious about your second point. What would be the right call there?
 

Jz558


ELRA/Club Referee
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
312
Post Likes
84
Current Referee grade:
Select Grade
Once a maul is formed, the ball carrier going to ground doesnt make it a ruck. Regardless of where the bodies fall, if the ball isn't immediately available award the scrum and don't allow it to degenerate into a scrabble for possession. In a scenario where the ball is available but the player won't release, well theres just no helping some people.
 

chbg


Referees in England
Joined
May 15, 2009
Messages
1,292
Solutions
1
Post Likes
290
Current Referee grade:
Level 8
Sounds like the standard of play where people don't really know what they are doing and whether it is legal or not. If you were unable to manage the situation, then possibly the most equitable action would have been to judge that the ball was not made immediately available and therefore scrum turnover. But really hard to describe and visualize exactly as it may have happened.
 
Solution

chbg


Referees in England
Joined
May 15, 2009
Messages
1,292
Solutions
1
Post Likes
290
Current Referee grade:
Level 8
Well I responded to your other posting!
 

Jonathan355


Referees in England
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
22
Post Likes
0
Current Referee grade:
Level 15 - 11
Once a maul is formed, the ball carrier going to ground doesnt make it a ruck. Regardless of where the bodies fall, if the ball isn't immediately available award the scrum and don't allow it to degenerate into a scrabble for possession. In a scenario where the ball is available but the player won't release, well theres just no helping some people.
Thank you.
 

Jonathan355


Referees in England
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
22
Post Likes
0
Current Referee grade:
Level 15 - 11
Thank you. Your view is absolutely right. They didn’t and that is what I did, i.e I did give the turnover.
 

Jonathan355


Referees in England
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
22
Post Likes
0
Current Referee grade:
Level 15 - 11
Once a maul is formed, the ball carrier going to ground doesnt make it a ruck. Regardless of where the bodies fall, if the ball isn't immediately available award the scrum and don't allow it to degenerate into a scrabble for possession. In a scenario where the ball is available but the player won't release, well theres just no helping some people.
Well I responded to your other posting!
You did. Thank you very much. I’m new to the forum. Realised that auto-correct had changed maul to mail and I wasn’t sure if I’d get any answers so put it in with the correct heading. Sorry for creating confusion!
 

Stu10

Rugby Club Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2020
Messages
168
Post Likes
49
Current Referee grade:
Level 15 - 11
A bit late to the discussion... I would say a lot depends on where the person on the floor with the ball is in relation to the rest of the players that were in the maul.

If the player holding the ball has managed to completely remove himself from the maul then I would say the maul has ended and open play continues... in which case a defending player can come round and play the ball, and the person on the floor must release.

If the ball carrier is still "within/attached" to the mass of bodies, then 5 seconds to use it or scrum turnover (I would also maintain the defending team's offside line at the back of the mass of bodies). I can't imagine how a defender on their feet and in the maul would get hands on the ball on the ground at the back of the maul, but, in this scenario I would be quick to blow whistle and award scrum to defending team for unsuccessful maul ending.

Do others agree? Am I essentially saying the same as others before me?
 

Jonathan355


Referees in England
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
22
Post Likes
0
Current Referee grade:
Level 15 - 11
A bit late to the discussion... I would say a lot depends on where the person on the floor with the ball is in relation to the rest of the players that were in the maul.

If the player holding the ball has managed to completely remove himself from the maul then I would say the maul has ended and open play continues... in which case a defending player can come round and play the ball, and the person on the floor must release.

If the ball carrier is still "within/attached" to the mass of bodies, then 5 seconds to use it or scrum turnover (I would also maintain the defending team's offside line at the back of the mass of bodies). I can't imagine how a defender on their feet and in the maul would get hands on the ball on the ground at the back of the maul, but, in this scenario I would be quick to blow whistle and award scrum to defending team for unsuccessful maul ending.

Do others agree? Am I essentially saying the same as others before me?
Thank you. That is both really clear and helpful. Your point on a defender getting hands on the ball makes complete sense.
 

Stu10

Rugby Club Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2020
Messages
168
Post Likes
49
Current Referee grade:
Level 15 - 11
@Jonathan355 to expand further on my point of hands on by defender, if the ball carrier gets to ground in a maul, the defending players are not obliged to release the player or the ball like they are in a tackle/ruck... in this situation the ball is trapped in, maul ends unsuccessfully, scrum to defending team (best to blow this fairly quickly before it gets messy).
 

Jonathan355


Referees in England
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
22
Post Likes
0
Current Referee grade:
Level 15 - 11
@Jonathan355 to expand further on my point of hands on by defender, if the ball carrier gets to ground in a maul, the defending players are not obliged to release the player or the ball like they are in a tackle/ruck... in this situation the ball is trapped in, maul ends unsuccessfully, scrum to defending team (best to blow this fairly quickly before it gets messy).
Thank you Stu. Really helpful and makes it really clear.
 

Stu10

Rugby Club Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2020
Messages
168
Post Likes
49
Current Referee grade:
Level 15 - 11
Why 5 seconds?
The OP said the ball carrier had positioned himself on the floor at the back of the maul with the ball initially available, therefore, per law 16.17.e, "The ball is available to be played, the referee has called “use it” and it has not been played within five seconds of the call."

If the ball had been trapped then I would blow up straight away.
 

chbg


Referees in England
Joined
May 15, 2009
Messages
1,292
Solutions
1
Post Likes
290
Current Referee grade:
Level 8
The OP said the ball carrier had positioned himself on the floor at the back of the maul with the ball initially available, therefore, per law 16.17.e, "The ball is available to be played, the referee has called “use it” and it has not been played within five seconds of the call."

If the ball had been trapped then I would blow up straight away.
16.17e is a different 'availability' to 16.17d, when the ball has to be 'immediately available' when the BC goes to ground and thus the maul is over. 16.17e is for when 16.15 is in force (the referee instructs the team in possession in a maul to use the ball).
 

Stu10

Rugby Club Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2020
Messages
168
Post Likes
49
Current Referee grade:
Level 15 - 11
For now let's ignore defenders trying to get a hand over the top... Ball carrier has gone to ground and presented the ball at the back of the maul, ball is "immediately available", so I would say this is described by 16.b, so the maul ends and play continues... But what does this look like in real life?

Ball carrier on ground with hand on ball and scrum half standing over him... What next? I would tell him to use it and allow 5 seconds, similar to a ruck. Correct, incorrect, good game management?

Would others stop play if the scrum half did not play the ball immediately (what does that mean, 1 second?), or would you call "ball out" and allow the defence to flood round?
 
Top