Clarification On How a Maul May End

colapsed maulWhen a maul goes to ground and is not deemed to be collapsed intentionally:

  1. There is no obligation for any players to release the ball or roll away.
  2. If the ball is available, play should continue. Availability would constitute that the referee can see the ball and the team in possession are in the process of recycling the ball.
  3. If the ball is not available, a scrum is awarded to the team that did not have possession of the ball at the commencement of the maul.

(emailed from Richard Every 4/10/13)

 Supporting Law:

17.2 Joining a maul

(a) Players joining a maul must have their heads and shoulders no lower than their hips.
Sanction: Free Kick

(b) A player must be caught in or bound to the maul and not just alongside it.
Sanction: Penalty kick

(c) Placing a hand on another player in the maul does not constitute binding.
Sanction: Penalty kick

(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

(f) A player must not jump on top of a maul.
Sanction: Penalty kick

17.6 Unsuccessful end to a maul

(a) A maul ends unsuccessfully if it remains stationary or has stopped moving forward for longer than 5 seconds and a scrum is ordered.

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

(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.

(d) When a maul remains stationary or has stopped moving forward for more than 5 seconds, but the ball is being moved and the referee can see it, a reasonable time is allowed for the ball to emerge. If it does not emerge within a reasonable time, a scrum is ordered.

(e) When a maul has stopped moving forward it may start moving forward again providing it does so within 5 seconds. If the maul stops moving forward a second time and if the ball is being moved and the referee can see it, a reasonable time is allowed for the ball to emerge. If it does not emerge within a reasonable time, a scrum is ordered.

(f) When the ball in a maul becomes unplayable, the referee does not allow prolonged wrestling for it. A scrum is ordered.

(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.

(h) 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.

Law Amendment Trial 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.

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