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  • Rugby maul question
  • Premier Icon Earl
    Free Member

    When a maul collapses to ground, does the defending side need to release and roll away like in a tackle? Or can you hold on for dear life to attract the penility? I guess there is no time to roll away before it needs to be available?

    Sorry my google-fu is letting me down today.

    Premier Icon Jakester
    Free Member

    If the maul goes to ground without a penalty being awarded, then the defending team can hold the ball in provided it’s been reached legally (i.e. no swimming up the side or changing bind etc).

    Premier Icon Jakester
    Free Member

    It’s law 16: https://www.world.rugby/the-game/laws/law/16

    Premier Icon Pyro
    Free Member

    (Probably utterly wrong, but): If a maul collapses it’s not a maul any more, it’s a ruck. Ball carrier has to release (or cling on and try not to end up with a penalty) and you start the traditional argy-bargy over the top of ’em.

    Premier Icon Jakester
    Free Member

    Oh, and it’s not a penalty – it’s a scrum to the defending team.

    Premier Icon Jakester
    Free Member

    if a maul collapses it’s not a maul any more, it’s a ruck.

    Nope, if it’s a properly-constituted maul then it ends as an unsuccessful maul, not a ruck.

    Premier Icon Earl
    Free Member

    Much thanks Jakester.

    Also I watched a YouTube vid about in the past defending team were doing lots of chest tackles – hoping for a maul to end unsuccessfully and win possession that way.
    Is that still a modern tactic?

    Premier Icon anagallis_arvensis
    Free Member

    Is that still a modern tactic?

    Yep, the so called choke tackle, hold a player up it becomes a maul then when it falls over the defending team get the scrum. Refs a lot hotter on spotting the tackled player getting one knee to floor now and ref shouts “tackle, release”

    Premier Icon Earl
    Free Member

    Ahhh… Tactics and counter tactics – brilliant!!!!

    Premier Icon nbt
    Free Member

    If a maul collapses it’s not a maul any more, it’s a ruck

    not as I understand it – I’m more of a league fan so I asked a friend to explain it to me. THis is how I understood it

    if the participants are standing, and the ball is in hand it’s a maul
    if the participants are standing, and the ball is on the ground, it’s a ruck
    if the participants are on the ground and people are trying to rake the ball out, it’s a bloody mess

    Premier Icon Jakester
    Free Member

    Also I watched a YouTube vid about in the past defending team were doing lots of chest tackles – hoping for a maul to end unsuccessfully and win possession that way.
    Is that still a modern tactic?

    Well, I suppose it depends what level you’re talking about. The ‘choke’ tackle has to some extent been outlawed by the changes in tackle height rules in the professional game to avoid concussion, but you do still see it, often by smaller players like George Ford who tend to cling on for dear life until support arrives, at which point the attacking player can be held up. I do think over the past season or so of the Premiership it’s been a lesser-used tactic, simply because the risk of getting a chest tackle wrong is unintentional head contact and a red card.

    Premier Icon Jakester
    Free Member

    not as I understand it – I’m more of a league fan so I asked a friend to explain it to me. THis is how I understood it

    if the participants are standing, and the ball is in hand it’s a maul
    if the participants are standing, and the ball is on the ground, it’s a ruck
    if the participants are on the ground and people are trying to rake the ball out, it’s a bloody mess

    The actual laws are posted above.

    Premier Icon Earl
    Free Member

    So the dangers of choke tackles are
    – it could easily go wrong and become a high tackle.
    – head to head collision
    These are both not great things in safety terms.

    When I see many low round the waist/thigh ‘chop’ tackles in the youth age groups many end up superman-ed out on the ground – which is the last place I would want to be when everyone around me is wearing studs. I know better technique of driving the legs – following the feet would prevent superman’s but that’s not how it seams to work around here

    Premier Icon Jakester
    Free Member

    When I see many low round the waist/thigh ‘chop’ tackles in the youth age groups many end up superman-ed out on the ground – which is the last place I would want to be when everyone around me is wearing studs. I know better technique of driving the legs – following the feet would prevent superman’s but that’s not how it seams to work around here

    I don’t coach but I think good practice is to aim at the waist and try to ‘fold’ the attacker, or go for the ankles. I guess in your specific example it’s a consequence of younger players having less momentum and the tackler being able to drive through.

    What’s the specific issue you’re trying to address?

    Premier Icon Earl
    Free Member

    Issues?
    Safety
    All things being equal, understanding the options when going in to contact from a defensive pov. One injury less a game from being stood on after a chop is a positive in my book. But then to offset they with the risk of giving more high tackles from a choke?

    Game and Player Skill Progression.
    Currently the U15’s game is get tackled, go to ground, ruck over, repeat. They don’t know anything about mauls so I’m trying to get a really good understanding before I start spouting.

    Last weekend 2 of our players went high and low. Drove the ball carrier back 5m plus. They the tacked the carrier to the ground – the end result being the ball got recycled. So all that teamwork, drive, power, shock and awe, and they still didn’t get a turnover. If they had kept the carrier up on their feet for 5s, would that have been a turnover?

    Premier Icon Jakester
    Free Member

    Last weekend 2 of our players went high and low. Drove the ball carrier back 5m plus. They the tacked the carrier to the ground – the end result being the ball got recycled. So all that teamwork, drive, power, shock and awe, and they still didn’t get a turnover. If they had kept the carrier up on their feet for 5s, would that have been a turnover?

    For a maul to be formed, there has to be a player bound from each team plus the ball carrier, so using your specific example, not unless the attacking player had a teammate bind on as well.

    I guess one way to try and secure possession in the scenario above is to ensure when the tackled player hits the ground there’s someone to drive over at the ruck; so tackler releases/rolls away but there’s support to form the ruck and drive over the ball to secure the turnover.

    Premier Icon desperatebicycle
    Free Member

    It’s not a ruck if the maul collapses – it’s the end of the maul. So if the maul ends successfully (ie. it’s not collapsed by the defending team and the ball can be played), then play continues. If the maul doesn’t end successfully (ie, the ball can’t be played) then it’s a scrum to the defending team. If, as per the OP, the defending team are clinging onto the ball, it’s doubtful the ref will see this as an offence and will award them the scrum.
    When reffing, we keep checking on the ball’s progress, the maul’s movement, the bindings, etc, so much going on, a lot of what happens next is down to ref’s interpretation of how the maul has ended.
    (Law 17d. is prob the nearest)

    Premier Icon euain
    Free Member

    I guess one way to try and secure possession in the scenario above is to ensure when the tackled player hits the ground there’s someone to drive over at the ruck; so tackler releases/rolls away but there’s support to form the ruck and drive over the ball to secure the turnover.

    Or tackler releases, gets on their feet and grabs the ball before the ruck forms. If the tackled player holds on, it’s a penalty.

    Premier Icon Earl
    Free Member

    Good one guys.

    There was a attacking player ‘pushing’ the ball carrier but not ‘bound’ in the same way I saw it on YouTube. So technically – not a maul. Just a 2 person tackle that went back 5m.

    So two defenders properly bound + the ball carrier – it’s a maul once called by the ref(edit. wrong!). If that ends up going to ground and the two defenders keep driving so the ball is not immediately available – then it’s defending teams ball irrespective if whether they have actually managed to have it securely in their hands

    In the case above, if the defenders managed to form a maul and it goes to ground then they can happily go off their feet to trap the ball?

    Premier Icon Earl
    Free Member

    Oh I got that wrong. Has to be a player bound from each team.

    So you can force a maul if the carrier’s team don’t bind. But if they don’t bind then either they feet driven back for distance or it goes to ground and it should be a easy job of rucking over to get the ball.

    Crumbs rugby is a complicated game.

    Premier Icon desperatebicycle
    Free Member

    if the defenders managed to form a maul and it goes to ground then they can happily go off their feet to trap the ball?

    Hmm. No. That would be a pen to the attackers, if the ref saw it as you describe. Can’t hold the ball when you’re on the ground (play it “immediately”)

    Premier Icon anagallis_arvensis
    Free Member

    For a maul to be formed, there has to be a player bound from each team plus the ball carrier,

    Not sure this is true now after England got bamboozled by Italy they got the law changed.

    Premier Icon Jakester
    Free Member

    anagallis_arvensis
    Not sure this is true now after England got bamboozled by Italy they got the law changed.

    Literally law 16.2 – [the maul] “consists of a ball-carrier and at least one player from each team, bound together and on their feet.” Taken from here: https://www.world.rugby/the-game/laws/law/16

    What Italy did to England was not form a ruck, rather than a maul. They then stood in what would otherwise be an offside position but as no ruck had formed, there was no offside line. That led to the introduction of 14.10 – “Offside lines are created at a tackle when at least one player is on their feet and over the ball, which is on the ground. Each team’s offside line runs parallel to the goal line through the hindmost point of any player in the tackle or on their feet over the ball. If that point is on or behind the goal line, the offside line for that team is the goal line.”

    I do remember Italy refusing to maul too a few years earlier, but it was the ruck thing that caused the law change.

    Premier Icon Earl
    Free Member

    So is the maul worth introducing at youth u15/u16 level?

    Premier Icon anagallis_arvensis
    Free Member

    What Italy did to England was not form a ruck, rather than a maul

    True, that’s why I wasn’t sure. You don’t ever seem to see teams not engaging in a maul at a lineout then running round and tackling the ball carrier now either. Was that due to a law change or a new ref ‘interpretation’?

    Premier Icon desperatebicycle
    Free Member

    So is the maul worth introducing at youth u15/u16 level?

    It already is. Starts at U12 with unlimited player involvement
    https://www.englandrugby.com//dxdam/fa/fa1dbfe2-9a2b-4171-9ee8-259313647fc5/AG%20Flyer%202019.pdf

    Premier Icon Earl
    Free Member

    Much thanks for that pdf. Interesting stuff.

    I’ve started helping to coach the u15 recently. When I asked the players to describe the basics of the maul last week – I didn’t get a single hand up. I fact only 1 player (a prop) knew anything about it at all.

    I know the trend now days is the fast running ‘get it to the backs. But it does look like the team are missing out on a whole aspect of the game.

    Premier Icon desperatebicycle
    Free Member

    Yeah, you’re definitely on the right track getting the laws for it learnt – it is pretty technical for them to understand, but once they know it it is a useful tactic. Mauls tend to be over a bit quicker in age-grade rugby… but officially I think the laws are pretty much the same.
    Here’s the page with the law differences https://www.englandrugby.com/governance/rules-and-regulations/regulations

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