Clip 2 - 27 February 2018 - Law 14

Knee on the ground.

A maul cannot become a tackle. That is the important statement to keep in mind.

Scotland are attacking Wales. Greig Laidlaw passes to Pete Horn (22). He immediately charges ahead and is held by Gareth Anscombe and Justin Tuperic. Immediately Tommy Seymour and Huw Jones of Scotland join in to support Horn. All five players are on their feet.

When all five players are on their feet with Horn in the midst of them holding the ball, the referee calls: "tackle. Tackle. Release. Knee on the ground."

By the time he called this, the four players were gathered around Horn. It was a maul.

A phase of play consisting of a ball-carrier and at least one player from each team, bound together and on their feet.

The ball-carrier, two Scots and two Welshmen were all on their feet.

It was a maul until it ceases to be a maul.

A maul ends and play continues when:

The ball or ball-carrier leaves the maul.
The ball is on the ground.
The ball is on or over the goal-line.

A maul ends unsuccessfully when:
The ball becomes unplayable.
The maul collapses (not as a result of foul play).
The maul does not move towards a goal line for longer than five seconds and the ball does not emerge.
The ball-carrier goes to ground and the ball is not immediately available.
The ball is available to be played, the referee has called “use it” and it has not been played within five seconds of the call.
Sanction: Scrum.
If a maul is formed immediately after a player has directly caught an opponent’s kick in open play, a scrum that is awarded for any of the above reasons will be to the team of the ball catcher.

In not one of those cases does the maul end because the ball-carrier has got his knee onto the ground. It wasa maul, not a tackle, before the referee decided to proclaim otherwise.

When a player held up on this feet, forces his knee to ground it is still not a tackle.

The method of holding a ball-carrier and bringing that player to ground.

Horn is not brought to ground. He fights to get to ground while the Welsh do everything they can to keep him up off the ground.

This has become an increasing fad in refereeing rugby and it is outside the law. advert