Why most mauls are illegal

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Why most mauls are illegal

Post by VinceWLB on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 8:21 pm

Here is a great detailed article i stumbled upon which need to be shared and discussed:

https://theblitzdefence.wordpress.com/2016/01/23/why-most-mauls-are-illegal/

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Re: Why most mauls are illegal

Post by LordDowlais on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 8:55 pm

The rolling maul should be banned, it is always blatantly obstruction or offside, how can you have a truck and trailer be against the laws but a rolling maul is not ?

If we are going to keep it, then I reckon you should only be allowed to go so many yards with it, so you could still use it as a weapon with a 5 meter line out, but you could not use it to go the length of the field or until you get a pen from it.

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Re: Why most mauls are illegal

Post by formerly known as Sam on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 9:34 pm

I think the laws should be enforced properly. For example how many times do you see the player at the back detach and let players join ahead of him and the rebind?

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Re: Why most mauls are illegal

Post by LondonTiger on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 9:52 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:I think the laws should be enforced properly. For example how many times do you see the player at the back detach and let players join ahead of him and the rebind?

Pretty much all the time, certainly in successful mauls.

Now I like mauls, I am an aged Leicester following forward so of course I do, but what we see at the moment is a travesty.

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Re: Why most mauls are illegal

Post by doctor_grey on Sun 24 Jan 2016, 10:00 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:I think the laws should be enforced properly. For example how many times do you see the player at the back detach and let players join ahead of him and the rebind?

Pretty much all the time, certainly in successful mauls.

Now I like mauls, I am an aged Leicester following forward so of course I do, but what we see at the moment is a travesty.
Gotta agree with my Leicester cousins. I like mauls. I don't like how they are officiated.

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Re: Why most mauls are illegal

Post by HammerofThunor on Mon 25 Jan 2016, 4:11 pm

LordDowlais wrote:The rolling maul should be banned, it is always blatantly obstruction or offside, how can you have a truck and trailer be against the laws but a rolling maul is not ?

If we are going to keep it, then I reckon you should only be allowed to go so many yards with it, so you could still use it as a weapon with a 5 meter line out, but you could not use it to go the length of the field or until you get a pen from it.

Do you also want to ban rucks and scrums? Both have players in front of the ball blocking the opposing team.

They just need to enforce the laws properly, as already said.

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Re: Why most mauls are illegal

Post by LordDowlais on Mon 25 Jan 2016, 4:58 pm

HammerofThunor wrote:Do you also want to ban rucks and scrums? Both have players in front of the ball blocking the opposing team.

But the ball is not in anyones hands during a ruck or a scrum.

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Re: Why most mauls are illegal

Post by HammerofThunor on Mon 25 Jan 2016, 7:27 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
HammerofThunor wrote:Do you also want to ban rucks and scrums? Both have players in front of the ball blocking the opposing team.

But the ball is not in anyones hands during a ruck or a scrum.

So it's ok to block if the ball is on the floor?

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Re: Why most mauls are illegal

Post by LondonTiger on Mon 25 Jan 2016, 10:06 pm

A maul can be defended against, and if inconclusive a turnover occurs.

The maul, and rolling maul is fine, so long as the actual laws are enforced.

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Re: Why most mauls are illegal

Post by George Carlin on Wed 27 Jan 2016, 8:00 am

Great article. Thank god it's not just me that thinks this whole area is a dog's dinner.

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Re: Why most mauls are illegal

Post by Poorfour on Wed 27 Jan 2016, 9:12 am

Good analysis, and quite correct. I have been ranting at my tv screen for a couple of seasons at the way referees allow players to form up into a maul even before contact has been made.

The worst of it is when all 8 forwards from a lineout are formed up and trying to rumble forwards but the opposition refuses to engage in the maul, so the maul monster reaches forward and tries to pull players into the maul. And often gets away with it - rather than being penalised for a flying wedge.

In refereeing terms, a maul is just a mobile ruck, and it ought to be possible to police it properly if you just apply a couple of principles:
1. It starts with a tackle. You can't have a maul formation until the ball carrier has made contact with the opposition. In a lineout, that means that unless there's a genuine contest in the air, both sides have to wait for the ball carrier to land and take contact before forming up. If the attacking side impedes that contact, penalty to the defenders
2. Everyone joins from behind the back foot.
3. The ball can move through the maul, not the ball carrier. Part of the skill of mauling is to keep working the ball back to the carrier. If the ref sees the carrier moving instead, they need to give serious thought to whether it's legal.

Apply that correctly and it will be much harder for a team to form a rolling maul - and if they manage it, they deserve all the yards they can make.

We also need to watch for what constitutes pulling down a maul. I think there has to be clear evidence of a defender trying to impede the attackers' legs or throwing their weight down. I've seen penalties given for mauls that have stalled and then just fallen over, or ones that have lurched sideways and everyone has tripped, and I don't think that's right. The rewards of a good maul are significant, so it needs to be difficult and require skill. Once safety and fairness are covered, the benefit of the doubt should be with the defenders.

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Re: Why most mauls are illegal

Post by Pete330v2 on Wed 27 Jan 2016, 9:53 am

Poorfour wrote:Good analysis, and quite correct. I have been ranting at my tv screen for a couple of seasons at the way referees allow players to form up into a maul even before contact has been made.

The worst of it is when all 8 forwards from a lineout are formed up and trying to rumble forwards but the opposition refuses to engage in the maul, so the maul monster reaches forward and tries to pull players into the maul. And often gets away with it - rather than being penalised for a flying wedge.

In refereeing terms, a maul is just a mobile ruck, and it ought to be possible to police it properly if you just apply a couple of principles:
1. It starts with a tackle. You can't have a maul formation until the ball carrier has made contact with the opposition. In a lineout, that means that unless there's a genuine contest in the air, both sides have to wait for the ball carrier to land and take contact before forming up. If the attacking side impedes that contact, penalty to the defenders
2. Everyone joins from behind the back foot.
3. The ball can move through the maul, not the ball carrier. Part of the skill of mauling is to keep working the ball back to the carrier. If the ref sees the carrier moving instead, they need to give serious thought to whether it's legal.

Apply that correctly and it will be much harder for a team to form a rolling maul - and if they manage it, they deserve all the yards they can make.

We also need to watch for what constitutes pulling down a maul. I think there has to be clear evidence of a defender trying to impede the attackers' legs or throwing their weight down. I've seen penalties given for mauls that have stalled and then just fallen over, or ones that have lurched sideways and everyone has tripped, and I don't think that's right. The rewards of a good maul are significant, so it needs to be difficult and require skill. Once safety and fairness are covered, the benefit of the doubt should be with the defenders.

Yep, pretty much what I was thinking myself so I'll save myself some time and just give you a +1 Poorfour.
It's hard to officiate everything on a rugby pitch but these incidents are always so blatant they must be penalized.

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Re: Why most mauls are illegal

Post by Cyril on Wed 27 Jan 2016, 12:58 pm

Agree with all this. Like others, I think a maul can be a thing of rough beauty, but they've become far too powerful a weapon now. Any line-outs in the 22 are almost guaranteed to end in a try, penalty try and/or yellow card. The amount of disengaging and re-engaging that goes on is getting silly.

Having said that, if officials can't properly police squint feeds I'm not sure how we can expect them to do anything about this anytime soon.

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Re: Why most mauls are illegal

Post by Notch on Wed 27 Jan 2016, 12:59 pm

All the best things in our lives are illegal somewhere.

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Re: Why most mauls are illegal

Post by TJ on Wed 27 Jan 2016, 6:26 pm

HammerofThunor wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
HammerofThunor wrote:Do you also want to ban rucks and scrums? Both have players in front of the ball blocking the opposing team.

But the ball is not in anyones hands during a ruck or a scrum.

So it's ok to block if the ball is on the floor?

Well you ain't blocking because there is no ball carrier to tackle - to gain possession you push your opponents off the ball - you can also have a maul with the ball on the floor altho its rare these days

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Re: Why most mauls are illegal

Post by Bathman_in_London on Wed 27 Jan 2016, 6:59 pm

To put another spin on it, a huge number of mauls are pulled down without any sanction.

Many teams also keep their jumper up in the air for a bit longer to milk a penalty for the defending team driving in a fraction too early and so taking out the player in the air.

As with much of rugby, it would be nice if the actual laws were applied to the maul. There would be a lot of penalties initially but I think teams would adapt soon enough.

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Re: Why most mauls are illegal

Post by DirtyRucker7 on Wed 27 Jan 2016, 8:10 pm

Mauls should stay they are one of the very things Union is all about but they must be refed properly with the assistant watching the team with the ball and the ref watching the defending team, because at the moment all they seem to watch is the defending team.

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Re: Why most mauls are illegal

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 28 Jan 2016, 9:36 am

TJ wrote:
HammerofThunor wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
HammerofThunor wrote:Do you also want to ban rucks and scrums? Both have players in front of the ball blocking the opposing team.

But the ball is not in anyones hands during a ruck or a scrum.

So it's ok to block if the ball is on the floor?

Well you ain't blocking because there is no ball carrier to tackle - to gain possession you push your opponents off the ball - you can also have a maul with the ball on the floor altho its rare these days


That's right. you cannot obstruct anyone from being tackled when nobody has the ball.

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Re: Why most mauls are illegal

Post by Notch on Thu 28 Jan 2016, 10:36 am

LordDowlais wrote:
TJ wrote:
HammerofThunor wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
HammerofThunor wrote:Do you also want to ban rucks and scrums? Both have players in front of the ball blocking the opposing team.

But the ball is not in anyones hands during a ruck or a scrum.

So it's ok to block if the ball is on the floor?

Well you ain't blocking because there is no ball carrier to tackle - to gain possession you push your opponents off the ball - you can also have a maul with the ball on the floor altho its rare these days

That's right. you cannot obstruct anyone from being tackled when nobody has the ball.

Not altogether true- if the ball is in the air, I'm in the fullback position waiting to catch it, you're chasing the ball and my mate changes his running line to slow you down and prevent you from challenging before I catch the ball...

...then that's a clear-cut penalty.

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Re: Why most mauls are illegal

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 28 Jan 2016, 10:39 am

Notch wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
TJ wrote:
HammerofThunor wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
HammerofThunor wrote:Do you also want to ban rucks and scrums? Both have players in front of the ball blocking the opposing team.

But the ball is not in anyones hands during a ruck or a scrum.

So it's ok to block if the ball is on the floor?

Well you ain't blocking because there is no ball carrier to tackle - to gain possession you push your opponents off the ball - you can also have a maul with the ball on the floor altho its rare these days

That's right. you cannot obstruct anyone from being tackled when nobody has the ball.

Not altogether true- if the ball is in the air, I'm in the fullback position waiting to catch it, you're chasing the ball and my mate changes his running line to slow you down and prevent you from challenging before I catch the ball...

...then that's a clear-cut penalty.


Yes that is true, but you do not have to get out of the way. If you are standing still or not changing you position then you are fine, which is what happens around most rucks. I know it is crap, but a lot of teams use these laws loosely. 

The rolling maul however is a mess, and it breaks multiple laws.

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Re: Why most mauls are illegal

Post by HammerofThunor on Thu 28 Jan 2016, 11:24 am

Every heard of tackling without the ball? You're not allowed the grab someone who doesn't have the ball, but we see it all the time in rucks.

That's because it's specifically allowed in the Laws. Exactly the same as the rolling maul (if applied properly). The issue isn't that rolling mauls are illegal, it's that refs don't notice/apply the laws properly in any mauls (rolling or otherwise).

One thing I've never got is, if the maul rolls, why does the defending team have to let go? As long as they've stayed bound it should be fine. You're not allowed to pull players out so they would still have to 'push'. It would make the rolling less advantageous because you would be a risk of trapping the ball, etc.

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Re: Why most mauls are illegal

Post by Seagultaf on Thu 28 Jan 2016, 8:03 pm

The problem with the maul is that they are not refereed consistently, so players and supporters are unsure about what will be allowed and what will be penalised.

My big gripe is where there is a breakaway from the ruck, if it's instigated by the defending side it's allowed and impossible to defend. If it's instigated by the attack then the players in front of the ball carrier are offside and penalised. But how is it possible to tell which side instigated the breakaway, it's not, how dumb is that?

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Re: Why most mauls are illegal

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