Question 2 MAUL

Taff


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Team A had their chance and lost the ball, why should the referee give them a second bite of the cherry?
Team A didn't lose the ball, they had it taken away from them.

If anyone had a chance and blew it, surely it was Team B by not using a ball that was available. Why should Team B effectively ignore the "Use it" and get rewarded with the throw in?
 
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RobLev

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OK, so I'll start the ball rolling

Option C is what I would do

The OP question says

"Team A takes the ball into a maul. Team B "rips" the ball away from Team A within the maul."

Therefore,

Team A was in possession when the maul began

Team B was NOT in possession when the maul began


So...

[LAWS]Law 17.6 (b) A maul ends unsuccessfully if the ball becomes unplayable or collapses (not as a result of
foul play) and a scrum is ordered

Law 17.6 (c) Scrum following maul. The ball is thrown in by the team not in possession when the maul began. If the referee cannot decide which team had possession, the team moving forward before the maul stopped throws in the ball. If neither team was moving forward, the attacking team throws in the ball.
[/LAWS]

However, in 2014 a contradiction was intruduced (surprise, surprise!!)

[LAWS]Law 17.6 (g) If the ball carrier in a maul goes to ground, including being on one or both knees or sitting, the referee orders a scrum unless the ball is immediately available.

When the ball is available to be played the referee will call “Use it!” after which the ball must be played within five seconds. If the ball is not played within five seconds the referee will award a scrum and the team not in possession of the ball is awarded the throw-in.[/LAWS]

So, D) is correct under Law 17.6 (g)

The problem here is that the original Law says the team in possession when the maul began will lose possession at the subsequent scrum throw-in, while the later Law says that the team in possession in the maul will lose possession at the scrum throw-in. They will not always be the same team.

IMO, the contradiction in the additional Law is an oversight by WR (12 year old proof readers strike again!!) I am 100% certain that they did not intend to change the effect of Law 17.6 (c), otherwise they surely would have changed that too.

So to resolve this issue in a practical sense, IMO the referee, faced with contradicting Laws should take the fairer option. Equity trumps Law, especially in cases where the Law is ambiguous.

Which is more equitable?

#1. Rewarding the team that successfully contests and wins the ball in a maul, or

#2. Rewarding the team that loses possession of the ball in the maul

I chose #1. Team A had their chance and lost the ball, why should the referee give them a second bite of the cherry?

On the other hand, the specific trumps the general. 17.6(c) covers the general case of an unsuccessful maul. There is specific provision in 17.6(g) for what happens when the ball-carrier in the maul goes to ground with the ball available (which may not be an unsuccessful maul - BC going to ground != a collapsed maul) and the team in possession fails to use it within 5 seconds of the referee's call to do so. So any contradiction is resolved in favour of 17.6(g).
 
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Ian_Cook


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On the other hand, the specific trumps the general. 17.6(c) covers the general case of an unsuccessful maul. There is specific provision in 17.6(g) for what happens when the ball-carrier in the maul goes to ground with the ball available (which may not be an unsuccessful maul - BC going to ground != a collapsed maul) and the team in possession fails to use it within 5 seconds of the referee's call to do so. So any contradiction is resolved in favour of 17.6(g).

I rather think you are using some legalese spin to try to justify a mistake by WR. I could equally argue that the emboldened phrase scrum following maul in 17.6 (c) applies to ALL scrums formed after ALL legally collapsed mauls, unless there is a specific, written exception that actually refers to this Law. However, I am not interested in getting into some nitpicketty legalistic pissing contest.

This is a clear oversight by the Law makers. If you you look at the 2013 Laws, 17.6 (b) was the only option available. The intent is clear; for the team taking the ball into contact to lose it in a turnover if THEY were unable to clear it. Having the ball ripped off you in the mall means that you are unable to clear it. I don't believe for one moment that whoever drafted Law 17.6(g) meant to change the intent of 17.6 (c), IMO they simply overlooked it.

As a referee, I would be happy enough that I could sell my decision to the players. A phrase you hear often from referees is.... "taken in by A, and collapsed" - turnover, B's ball". I would also be able to back it up in Law to my assessor. As an assessor, I would also be happy with that decision made in that circumstance.
 
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Ian_Cook


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So team B can give you the bird and still get the scrum feed?

Say what ???
headscratch.gif
 

Pegleg

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OK, so I'll start the ball rolling

Option C is what I would do

The OP question says

"Team A takes the ball into a maul. Team B "rips" the ball away from Team A within the maul."

Therefore,

Team A was in possession when the maul began

Team B was NOT in possession when the maul began


So...

[LAWS]Law 17.6 (b) A maul ends unsuccessfully if the ball becomes unplayable or collapses (not as a result of
foul play) and a scrum is ordered

Law 17.6 (c) Scrum following maul. The ball is thrown in by the team not in possession when the maul began. If the referee cannot decide which team had possession, the team moving forward before the maul stopped throws in the ball. If neither team was moving forward, the attacking team throws in the ball.
[/LAWS]

However, in 2014 a contradiction was intruduced (surprise, surprise!!)

[LAWS]Law 17.6 (g) If the ball carrier in a maul goes to ground, including being on one or both knees or sitting, the referee orders a scrum unless the ball is immediately available.

When the ball is available to be played the referee will call “Use it!” after which the ball must be played within five seconds. If the ball is not played within five seconds the referee will award a scrum and the team not in possession of the ball is awarded the throw-in.[/LAWS]

So, D) is correct under Law 17.6 (g)

The problem here is that the original Law says the team in possession when the maul began will lose possession at the subsequent scrum throw-in, while the later Law says that the team in possession in the maul will lose possession at the scrum throw-in. They will not always be the same team.

IMO, the contradiction in the additional Law is an oversight by WR (12 year old proof readers strike again!!) I am 100% certain that they did not intend to change the effect of Law 17.6 (c), otherwise they surely would have changed that too.

So to resolve this issue in a practical sense, IMO the referee, faced with contradicting Laws should take the fairer option. Equity trumps Law, especially in cases where the Law is ambiguous.

Which is more equitable?

#1. Rewarding the team that successfully contests and wins the ball in a maul, or

#2. Rewarding the team that loses possession of the ball in the maul

I chose #1. Team A had their chance and lost the ball, why should the referee give them a second bite of the cherry?


Agreed.
 

Pegleg

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On the other hand, the specific trumps the general. 17.6(c) covers the general case of an unsuccessful maul. There is specific provision in 17.6(g) for what happens when the ball-carrier in the maul goes to ground with the ball available (which may not be an unsuccessful maul - BC going to ground != a collapsed maul) and the team in possession fails to use it within 5 seconds of the referee's call to do so. So any contradiction is resolved in favour of 17.6(g).


So A take the ball in holds on to it and it becomes unplayable = B's scrum 17.6 (c)

So A take the ball in loses it to B and it becomes unplayable = B's scrum 17.6 (c)

So A take the ball in holds on to it and A gets to ground with it not immediately playable = B's scrum 17.6 (g)

So A take the ball in loses it to B and B gets to ground with it not immediately playable = A's scrum 17.6 (g)

There is little logic in suggesting that makes sense. For me B's scrum in every case.
 

RobLev

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I rather think you are using some legalese spin to try to justify a mistake by WR.

This is a clear oversight by the Law makers. If you you look at the 2013 Laws, 17.6 (b) was the only option available. The intent is clear; for the team taking the ball into contact to lose it in a turnover if THEY were unable to clear it. I don't believe for one moment that whoever drafted this Law meant to change the intent of 17.6 (c), IMO they simply overlooked it.

I don't really care for nitpicking legal spin. As a referee, I would be happy enough that I could sell my decision to the players. A phrase you hear often from referees is.... "taken in by A, and collapsed" - turnover, B's ball". I would also be able to back it up in Law to my assessor. As an assessor, I would also be happy with that decision made in that circumstance.

Would you similarly ignore 17.6(h)?

[LAWS]Scrum after a maul when catcher is held. If a player catches the ball direct from an opponent’s kick, except from a kick-off or a drop-out, and the player is immediately held by an opponent, a maul may form. Then if the maul remains stationary, stops moving forward for longer than 5 seconds, or if the ball becomes unplayable, and a scrum is ordered, the team of the ball catcher throws in the ball.

‘Direct from an opponent’s kick’ means the ball did not touch another player or the ground before the player caught it.[/LAWS]

...which also contradicts 17.6(c) in a specific situation.

Furthermore, the whole of the second paragraph of 17.6(g) was inserted at the same time. If you are correct, there would be no purpose to adding the reference to "the team in possession" - the general rule provides for a turnover.

The point was surely to stop the ball being held in the "maul that has gone to ground"; if team B keep it in, then they suffer the sanction. The alternative - your alternative - is that if the ball is ripped, the ripping team can then take as long as they like to take the ball out. Do you believe that was the intention?
 
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RobLev

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So A take the ball in holds on to it and it becomes unplayable = B's scrum 17.6 (c)

So A take the ball in loses it to B and it becomes unplayable = B's scrum 17.6 (c)

So A take the ball in holds on to it and A gets to ground with it not immediately playable = B's scrum 17.6 (g)

So A take the ball in loses it to B and B gets to ground with it not immediately playable = A's scrum 17.6 (g)

There is little logic in suggesting that makes sense. For me B's scrum in every case.

You're absolutely right, and that is what the Law says. But that is not the issue. In the case we're talking about, the ball is immediately playable - but B has chosen not to play it, despite having been told to do so by the referee. Ian's view has the effect that Team B can ignore the ref's instruction to "Use it", and get the scrum anyway.
 

OB..


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So A take the ball in holds on to it and it becomes unplayable = B's scrum 17.6 (c)

So A take the ball in loses it to B and it becomes unplayable = B's scrum 17.6 (c)

So A take the ball in holds on to it and A gets to ground with it not immediately playable = B's scrum 17.6 (g)

So A take the ball in loses it to B and B gets to ground with it not immediately playable = A's scrum 17.6 (g)

There is little logic in suggesting that makes sense. For me B's scrum in every case.
Why should they all be the same when the criteria are different?

If the ball becomes unavailable and unplayable, the team that took it in loses.
If the ball is available and the team who could have played it fails to do so quickly enough, that team loses.

Seems reasonable to me.
 

Pegleg

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The point of 17.6 (h) was to discourage airial ping pong. That is why it is contrary to 17.6 (c). That is why we have the override where teams are "forced" to kick.
 

RobLev

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The point of 17.6 (h) was to discourage airial ping pong. That is why it is contrary to 17.6 (c). That is why we have the override where teams are "forced" to kick.

And the intention of 17.6(g) was to get the ball out of the maul quickly, once it's stopped/gone to ground. That is why it is contary to 17.6(c). That is why we have the override where the team in possession keeps it in the maul.
 

RobLev

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Say what ???
headscratch.gif

I suspect he's referring to the fact that you told Team B to get the ball out of there within 5 seconds, they ignored you, and yet you're still giving them the scrum feed.
 

Dickie E


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In the case we're talking about, the ball is immediately playable - but B has chosen not to play it, despite having been told to do so by the referee. Ian's view has the effect that Team B can ignore the ref's instruction to "Use it", and get the scrum anyway.

Agree.

[LAWS]Law 17.6 (b) A maul ends unsuccessfully if the ball becomes unplayable or collapses (not as a result of foul play) and a scrum is ordered[/LAWS]

Law 17.6(b) never comes into play. If the ref calls "use it" the ball can hardly be unplayable.
 

ChrisR

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Wait a minute, is the ball on the deck? Doesn't say in the OP but if that's the case then we have a ruck and ruck law applies.
 

Ian_Cook


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Would you similarly ignore 17.6(h)?

[LAWS]Scrum after a maul when catcher is held. If a player catches the ball direct from an opponent’s kick, except from a kick-off or a drop-out, and the player is immediately held by an opponent, a maul may form. Then if the maul remains stationary, stops moving forward for longer than 5 seconds, or if the ball becomes unplayable, and a scrum is ordered, the team of the ball catcher throws in the ball.

‘Direct from an opponent’s kick’ means the ball did not touch another player or the ground before the player caught it.[/LAWS]

...which also contradicts 17.6(c) in a specific situation.

No because it directly refers to a specific situation as highlighted by the emboldening of "Scrum after a maul when catcher is held."

Furthermore, the whole of the second paragraph of 17.6(g) was inserted at the same time. If you are correct, there would be no purpose to adding the reference to "the team in possession" - the general rule provides for a turnover.

I argue the the paragraph is there simply to legitimise the five second rule, and the writing in of the bit about "the team in possession" is simply an oversight.

The point was surely to stop the ball being held in the "maul that has gone to ground";

Yes, but

if team B keep it in, then they suffer the sanction.

Why? You are arguing that team B should simply have stopped Team A from playing it rather than try to contest for the ball, i.e. you are encouraging negative play. You are effectively asking them them to go against a core principle of the game,. the contest for possession at all phases of the game

The alternative - your alternative - is that if the ball is ripped, the ripping team can then take as long as they like to take the ball out. Do you believe that was the intention?

A strawman. That is not what I am arguing at all. If the ball is ripped, then the ripping team has to keep the maul moving forward as per normal. If they don't or if it is available and they don't use it, they get the feed since they were not the team who took the ball into the maul in the first place.

I know that with your legal background, you would like to make this into an adversarial debate about the minutiae of the laws. All I am interested in doing is making sense of an ambiguous and contradictory Law, and coming up with a decision that I can

a] sell the players, and
b] justify in Law to my assessor

I said earlier that both C) and D) can be taken to be the correct decisions, I chose C) and equity to justify it.

YMMV
 
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Womble

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Wait a minute, is the ball on the deck? Doesn't say in the OP but if that's the case then we have a ruck and ruck law applies.
A failed maul very rarely turns into a ruck ! it can happen but not very often
 

Taff


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Wait a minute, is the ball on the deck? Doesn't say in the OP but if that's the case then we have a ruck and ruck law applies.
Is it relevant?

Given that the ball is available (whether it's a ruck or a maul legally taken to ground) and Team B decide not to use it in the allotted 5 seconds (despite being asked to do so) why should they get the throw in?

I can see why whether it was a ruck or maul would be relevant if the ball was not available - but in this case it was.
 
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RobLev

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...

I know that with your legal background, you would like to make this into an adversarial debate about the minutiae of the laws. All I am interested in doing is making sense of an ambiguous and contradictory Law, and coming up with a decision that I can

a] sell the players, and
b] justify in Law to my assessor

I said earlier that both C) and D) can be taken to be the correct decisions, I chose C) and equity to justify it.

YMMV

All of which relies upon the Law being "ambiguous and contradictory". It isn't. Just as 17.6(h) isn't. Both refer to specific situations, both provide for specific outcomes; if they don't apply, then the general outcome applies.

And stop making this about me and you.
 

ChrisR

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Only pointing out that all references so far have been to Law 17 and if it's a ruck (and if the ball is on the ground with players bound over it then it is a ruck) then Law 16 applies.
 
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