[Maul] Offside and joining the maul inside goal line, any differences?

cccref


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Hello everyone,

here are the laws:

17.4 (a)
The offside line. There are two offside lines parallel to the goal lines, one for each team. Each offside line runs through the hindmost foot of the hindmost player in the maul. If the hindmost foot of the hindmost player is on or behind the goal line, the offside line for the defending team is the goal line.


17.4 (c)
Players joining the maul. Players joining a maul must do so from behind the foot of the hindmost team-mate in the maul. The player may join alongside this player. If the player joins the maul from the opponents’ side, or in front of the hindmost team-mate, the player is offside.


Scenario:
Maul coming inside goal area, ball is still outside it.

A defence player joins the maul NOT from behind the foot of the hindmost team-mate in the maul, neither even alongside that player, BUT still inside his goal area (behing goal line).

17.4 (c) does not mention offside lines, so cai i punish him for joining incorrectly the maul?
My opinion: He's not offside but he joins incorrectly.
 

Taff


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You cannot have a maul in-goal, so no maul offside lines.
 

Rich_NL

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You cannot have a maul in-goal, so no maul offside lines.

If the ball is not over the goal line, you can certainly have mauling players behind the goal line. As to the original post, I'd certainly ping someone for joining from the side in that case; as you say, the law doesn't mention offside lines.
 

Phil E


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I'm with Taff.
The Maul evaporates as it crosses the goal line.
As long as the defenders are behind the goal line they can join the clump of players that are not a maul from any direction they want.

Having said that, the same must apply to a scrum, so would we let none scrum players add their weight to the back (or side) of a scrum that is past the goal line?
 

ChrisR

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What determines whether a maul/scrum is in goal? The ball?
 

DocY


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What determines whether a maul/scrum is in goal? The ball?
Yes, it's the ball - 17.5. The maul can exist in goal provided the ball isn't over the line yet.

But despite what the lawbook says, I'm not 100% sure you would have to enter from the back foot in goal. It looks like it could well be an oversight.
 

didds

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17.4a would suggest surely that the maul may still exist when part of it is in-goal.

so we can only guess at what consitutes the ending of a maul in-goal, and the ball would seem a logical choice (howsoever a ref determines that position in the middle of a large gro0up of players). Alternatively it could be tghe rearmost foot of the attacker's side of the maul... but I doubt many (any?) of us would see that as realistic.

didds
 

Phil E


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Yes, it's the ball - 17.5. The maul can exist in goal provided the ball isn't over the line yet.

That just detrmines when the maul ends.

17.1 says the maul can only exist in the field of play.

So the part of the maul that is in-goal does not exist as a maul.
 

didds

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That just detrmines when the maul ends.

17.1 says the maul can only exist in the field of play.

So the part of the maul that is in-goal does not exist as a maul.

so in effect then it means a defender can join it at any point no further forward then the goal line?

didds
 

Phil E


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so in effect then it means a defender can join it at any point no further forward then the goal line?

didds

That's my interpretation, but I am open to hearing other arguments.
 

Nickorando


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If the maul no longer exists, then presumably there can be no maul offences - which means a defender could join right next to the ball carrier, collapse the not-a-maul, and hold up the ball? Which would presumably result in a 5m attacking scrum?
Alternatively, a defender standing in goal could presumably tackle the ball carrier and pull him back the other side of the try line? Both obviously not east to do...
 

Rich_NL

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That just detrmines when the maul ends.

17.1 says the maul can only exist in the field of play.

So the part of the maul that is in-goal does not exist as a maul.

So you've no problem with players running into touch to join the not-maul from the opponent's side? ;)
 

ChuckieB

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so in effect then it means a defender can join it at any point no further forward then the goal line?

didds

We all know well the goal line changes so much!

When a maul is moving with such momentum, i.e. to an inevitable breaching of the line, why try to join at all. Use the line. The ball carrier may be easier to attack, i.e. last ditch attempt to dive in to stop bc going to ground with the ball as he goes over goal line. No point being bound in or round the back!

Reality - Hardly likely to save the try, save an error by the attacking team as they attempt to ground the ball!
 

ChuckieB

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So you've no problem with players running into touch to join the not-maul from the opponent's side? ;)

Not at all!

If it ever happened that way, which I doubt, if I were an attacking coach, I would want to know why my team hadn't collapsed the "mass" to ground the ball!
 

DocY


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So you've no problem with players running into touch to join the not-maul from the opponent's side? ;)
Sorry Rich, I might be being dull (again) but I've got no idea what you're on about.
 

OB..


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17.1 says the maul can only exist in the field of play.

So the part of the maul that is in-goal does not exist as a maul.
[LAWS]17.5 [FONT=fs_blakeregular]A maul ends successfully when :[/FONT][/LAWS][LAWS]
  • [...]
  • the ball is on or over the goal line.
[/LAWS]
I don't see it as realistic to have part of the body of players constitute a maul whereas the other part doesn't.

We have a gap in the laws.
[LAWS]17.4 (c)[FONT=fs_blakeregular]Players joining the maul. Players joining a maul must do so from behind the foot of the hindmost team-mate in the maul.[/FONT][/LAWS]
[FONT=fs_blakeregular]
This should probably say "from behind their offside line", but it doesn't.

[LAWS]17.4 (a) [...] [/LAWS][/FONT]
[LAWS][FONT=fs_blakeregular] If the hindmost foot of the hindmost player is on or behind the goal line, the offside line for the defending team is the goal line.[/FONT][/LAWS][FONT=fs_blakeregular]
On the face of it a player can stand at the goal-line alongside the part of the maul that is in in-goal, but cannot join it at that point

I think this is an oversight. However there may not currently be a consensus on how to rule.[/FONT]
 

ChuckieB

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[LAWS]17.5 [FONT=fs_blakeregular]A maul ends successfully when :[/FONT][/LAWS][LAWS]
  • [...]
  • the ball is on or over the goal line.
[/LAWS]
I don't see it as realistic to have part of the body of players constitute a maul whereas the other part doesn't.

We have a gap in the laws.
[LAWS]17.4 (c)[FONT=fs_blakeregular]Players joining the maul. Players joining a maul must do so from behind the foot of the hindmost team-mate in the maul.[/FONT][/LAWS]
[FONT=fs_blakeregular]
This should probably say "from behind their offside line", but it doesn't.

[LAWS]17.4 (a) [...] [/LAWS][/FONT]
[LAWS][FONT=fs_blakeregular] If the hindmost foot of the hindmost player is on or behind the goal line, the offside line for the defending team is the goal line.[/FONT][/LAWS][FONT=fs_blakeregular]
On the face of it a player can stand at the goal-line alongside the part of the maul that is in in-goal, but cannot join it at that point

I think this is an oversight. However there may not currently be a consensus on how to rule.[/FONT]


As we know, the goal line changes so much and In Goal laws are sometimes short of absolute detail as regards dealing with "free for alls", except kicking the ball from hand or other foul play, perhaps.

I feel the goal line offside provision effectively overrides the existence of the hindmost foot provision for joining, once the goal line comes into play. I and have no problem refereeing as such.
 

Rich_NL

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Sorry Rich, I might be being dull (again) but I've got no idea what you're on about.

Phil''s argument is that outside the FoP the maul ceases to exist. If half the maul is in touch with the ball still in play, can players walk around the side in touch and join wherever they want?
 

chbg


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In the absence of guidance, I sense that a strict interpretation of the Laws (due to OB's gap) is that players should still join from behind the hindmost foot (I do not like the idea that there can be a not-a-maul joined to a not completed maul), whilst they can stand beside it behind the GL. HOWEVER, more importantly, until it occurs in first-class rugby and draws the discussion into the wider public arena, it would be a referee's 'Gotcha' moment if he penalised for it. Would any player (or coach, or 90% of referees / assessors) really expect it to be penalised? Empathy for the game would surpass such detailed knowledge of the Law intricacies.

I'm impressed with the OP's forensic analysis of the Laws, and then asking for clarification. Can we send cccref to take over from the 12 yo proof readers?
 

Dickie E


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Having said that, the same must apply to a scrum, so would we let none scrum players add their weight to the back (or side) of a scrum that is past the goal line?

I wouldn't. Scrum laws dictate how many players can be in a scrum whereas maul laws don't.
 
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