Clip 5 - 10 November 2017 - Law 15

Maul, tackle? What is it?

The Golden Lions throw into a line-out five metres from the Cheetahs' goal-line. They do clever things and drive closer. The ball comes back to scrumhalf Ross Cronje who passes the Cyle Brink on his left. Brink drives at the line with two team-mates behind him and four Cheetahs trying to stop them. The seven are all on their feet and in physical contact around Brink.

Law 17 DEFINITIONS
A maul begins when a player carrying the ball is held by one or more opponents, and one or more of the ball-carrier’s team mates bind on the ball-carrier. A maul therefore consists, when it begins, of at least three players, all on their feet; the ball-carrier and one player from each team. All the players involved must be caught in or bound to the maul and must be on their feet and moving towards a goal-line.

This clearly is a maul.
It is a maul with Brink on his feet.
It is a maul even though it is moving forward.
It is a maul.

Does it stop being a maul when Brink's knee and other body parts touch the ground?

When does a maul stop being a maul?

Law 17.5 Successful end to a maul
A maul ends successfully when :
the ball or a player with the ball leaves the maul
the ball is on the ground
the ball is on or over the goal line.

Law 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.


A maul does not end because somebody goes to ground.
A maul cannot become a tackle or a ruck.

In this case, the Golden Lions move the maul to just short of the goal-line when it falls down. Then the referee calls: "Tackle now. Release."

But it was a maul. It should be allowed to continue till either the ball is out of the maul or the ball becomes unplayable. 

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