Maul to ruck

Ciaran Trainor


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I've looked at old threads and the laws but still can't make my mind up.
Red catch and drive from line out 10m out. I call maul.
Black eventually get defence sorted and stop forward momentum at 5m line.
Before I say anything red realise the momentum has stopped and ball carrier goes to ground and places ball on floor, where I can see it clearly.
Red scrum half about to pick it up but bodies from both sides collapse , not deliberately and ball is now unplayable.
I whistle say ball is unplayable in a ruck. Scrum red.
Black ask the question, politely "you can't turn a maul into a ruck sir"
I say you can and stick to my decision and we move on.
Whilst I hadn't called ruck, for me a ruck had been created.
Thoughts please and any law clarification references?
 

crossref


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I think that : technically speaking a maul can become a ruck, but nothing good ever happens to a referee who allows that to occur !

[LAWS]A maul ends and play continues when:
The ball or ball-carrier leaves the maul.
The ball is on the ground.
The ball is on or over the goal line.[/LAWS]
 

Zebra1922


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One problem would be where the ball is located. Usually at the back of a maul, so when the ball/plater goes to ground his fellow players are ahead of him, therefore players from both sides are in contact on their feet ahead of the ball not over it.
 

Dickie E


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I would call that a collapsed & unplayable maul - turnover scrum. Red, get it out quicker next time.
 

Marc Wakeham


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For me the only way I will generally "allow" a maul become a ruck is is the BC goes to ground with the mass of the "Maul / ruck still on their feet and the players drive over (Safely) and the ball is presented "immediately".

Once a maul hits the deck I want to see the ball avaialbe or it is turnover ball.

So I would say yourscenrio sounds wrong. But I was not there!

Call what you see!
 

crossref


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For me the only way I will generally "allow" a maul become a ruck is is the BC goes to ground with the mass of the "Maul / ruck still on their feet and the players drive over (Safely) and the ball is presented "immediately".

!

Which for me is not a ball becoming a ruck, it's just a mail ending , and ball coming out ?
 

Dickie E


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For me, the only realistic way a maul can become a ruck is if the ball is dropped and players start playing the ball with their feet. I don't think I've ever seen it happen
 

Taff


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.... Whilst I hadn't called ruck, for me a ruck had been created. Thoughts please and any law clarification references?
My feeling is that if we are looking at a Ruck, then we treat it as a Ruck. Why complicate things?

The one thing we need to be clear on though is, is it a Ruck or a collapsed Maul, because the restarts are different. It sounds to me that you had a short lived Ruck. :chin:
 
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Jz558


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The laws specifically allow the ball carrier to go to ground in a maul and dictate that the maul ends when the ball is on the ground. From the description in the OP, in principle, I am in agreement with ctrainor and Taff providing I can see a clear separation in time between the ball being placed on the floor and the formation collapsing ie I am happy that the ball carrier taking the ball to ground hasn’t created the collapse.
 

Pinky


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the short answer is you can turn a maul into a ruck - we've been over this before - as the ball being on the ground ends the maul - and a ball on the ground with players closing round it is a ruck. For me the key thing is whether this has been clear and obvious enough to justify thinking about a ruck phase of play as the outcome for any unplayable is different. If you think it a ruck has formed, then you have to ask why the ball cannot come out - no one other than the 9 should be thinking of handling it, and then you are into unsuccessful end to a ruck, which will be ball to side going forward.
 

OB..


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Before 1992, a scrum was awarded to the side going forward etc at unsuccessful rucks and mauls.
A scrum was awarded if “any player” went to ground, unless the ball was immediately available. (This presumably constituted a collapse.)

1992-3 The turnover law was introduced for both rucks and mauls.

1994-5 The turnover law was rescinded for rucks.

1996-7 “any player” was changed to “ball carrier”, but no mention was made of other players going to ground.

Around this time I had a conversation with Andy Melrose, RDO. His view was that a maul could be turned into a ruck if the ball itself went to ground eg placed or dropped (not forwards), but not when the ball carrier went to ground.

In 1994 many coaches/players thought that they could avoid a turnover if the ball carrier went to ground, but it was quickly made clear that was not the case, because it undermined the aim of the turnover law. That view now seems to have been eroded to the point of non-existence.
 

crossref


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I go back to my first point .. a maul probably can turn into a ruck but no good ever comes of it
 

Taff


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I go back to my first point .. a maul probably can turn into a ruck but no good ever comes of it
Surely that depends if you're the ones who managed to turn the Maul into a Ruck.
 
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Taff


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I meant .. for the referee ! :)
I've got no dog in the fight, so it makes no difference to me if it's a Ruck or a Maul.

As long as it makes sense in my head and I can justify my decision if somebody queries it, then I'm a happy bunny.
 

crossref


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I've got no dog in the fight, so it makes no difference to me if it's a Ruck or a Maul.

As long as it makes sense in my head and I can justify my decision if somebody queries it, then I'm relatively happy.

I think that if you decide that a maul has become a ruck your next decision is almost guaranteed to end up with 15/30 players thinking you have made an error, and quite few of them thinking you have made a Law error .

I think it's making life difficult for yourself.

Of course for a critical decision you would not care about that .. but is this a critical decision? And you 100% sure you are actually correct anyway ?
 
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collybs


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Surely under Law 17d if a player goes to ground in a maul and the ball is not available it is a maul that has ended unsuccessfully and not a ruck.

Law 17
A maul ends unsuccessfully when:

a The ball becomes unplayable.

b The maul collapses (not as a result of foul play).

c The maul does not move towards a goal line for longer than five seconds and the ball does not emerge.

d The ball-carrier goes to ground and the ball is not immediately available.

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.
 

Taff


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I think that if you decide that a maul has become a ruck your next decision is almost guaranteed to end up with 15/30 players thinking you have made an error, and quite few of them thinking you have made a Law error.
But nobody questions it. Every team I know accepts that if there's a maul and ball gets to ground (and all the other conditions for a ruck exist) then we have a ruck. The only thing that can catch us out is if a BC goes to ground but can't get the ball to the ground, then we have a collapsed maul and not a ruck; and the restart is different.
 
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Taff


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Surely under Law 17d if a player goes to ground in a maul and the ball is not available it is a maul that has ended unsuccessfully and not a ruck.
Surely, the only thing that counts is did the ball get to ground.

If the ball gets to the ground (not the ball carrier) and becomes unplayable, in your example why can't it be a ruck that has ended unsuccessfully?
 
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TheBFG


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So ball gets to the ground a player on the defending side thinking if that comes out it's play on, dives on the ball and prevents it coming out, what do you give?
 
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