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Is the maul dead?

Questions for the players, the management, the UAFC, the URSC or other supporters... Someone might answer you!! (and pigs might fly)

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Is the maul dead?

Postby Dave » Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:59 pm

Seeing how Ireland effectively neutralised the bok maul, won't every side employ this technique rendering the maul useless?
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Re: Is the maul dead?

Postby Carr07 » Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:16 pm

It's not as easy as it looks. If someone's not concentrating it all goes to pot. Far less risky to engage with the maul.

Donal Lenihan made an interesting point tonight regarding the good levels of intelligence which are common in Irish players and which Schmidt is now making the most of.
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Re: Is the maul dead?

Postby Snipe Watson » Mon Nov 10, 2014 11:53 pm

Dave wrote:Seeing how Ireland effectively neutralised the bok maul, won't every side employ this technique rendering the maul useless?

Refusing to engage will only work in a limited way Australia will now be ready for it.
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Re: Is the maul dead?

Postby bazzaj » Tue Nov 11, 2014 12:03 am

I first saw South Africa use that tactic a number of years ago which I thought was genius..
I remember thinking the same as Daves thread opener.
The problem was the ref was not aware they had disengaged so they dropped the tactic.
Obviously our ref was more switched on to this or rather his attention was drawn to it so the refs importantly need to be on board.

I think when sides are aware this will happen, they will start pulling opponents in to create the maul.
One things for sure Joe looks at the strengths and weaknesses of all his opponents so will always be evolving his tactics in accordance to who we play.

The if it aint broke approach is thankfully a thing of the past now and there will be a different set of problems for the Aussies to work out.
Will be interesting with the two ex Leinster coaches going toe to toe.
Last edited by bazzaj on Tue Nov 11, 2014 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is the maul dead?

Postby Dave » Tue Nov 11, 2014 12:10 am

The other issue is if it is say 5 - 10m out would we have the nerve or even the time to run round and tackle the carrier. They would probably be over the line before we knew it. Perhaps this happened on Saturday I can honestly remember. Also I think varying it was clever kept them guessing.
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Re: Is the maul dead?

Postby bazzaj » Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:09 am

Dave wrote:The other issue is if it is say 5 - 10m out would we have the nerve or even the time to run round and tackle the carrier. They would probably be over the line before we knew it. Perhaps this happened on Saturday I can honestly remember. Also I think varying it was clever kept them guessing.

Varying the tactic is the way forward Dave no question.
I love innovation in the game and to see the end of sides manufacturing 5 metre lineouts to blungeon their way over the line, would be no bad thing Iin my view.

Disengagement would at least make sides think and adapt to that .
These sides are full time professional and I expect to see the fruition of their work on the pitch.
Quite honestly sometimes I will watch top class sides and wonder what the hell they have been doing all week.

Schmidt demonstrates that despite having limited time with his side compared to Meyer, it is clearly making the most of every second spent that counts.
Quality not quantity in other words.
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Re: Is the maul dead?

Postby mikerob » Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:05 am

Apparently the tactic of not engaging the maul was used quite lot in the Junior RWC and the IRB issued a law clarification about it.

If the defending team actually "runs away" from engaging with the maul and leaves the line, then the ref is instructed to give a penalty to the attacking team.

So one way to counter the tactic would be for a player at the front of the maul to keep the ball rather than working the ball to a player at the back. The player at the front drives into the opposition, supported by his team mates. If the opposition actually moves out of the way, they may be penalised or the ref plays advantage and the attacking team continues to drive down the pitch.
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Re: Is the maul dead?

Postby bazzaj » Tue Nov 11, 2014 2:36 pm

The running away in defence tactic is the one Ian Humphries has been using for years and people got on his case, when they should have been lauding him as a visionary.

Seriously though, I don`t see how a penalty can be awarded as its not as if they have to engage in a maul as unlike a scrum or lineout, it isn`t a set piece.
Unless by line you mean lineout merv, where that would be a set piece situation.

In the case of the player keeping the ball at front off the maul, technically he isn`t offside as opposed to if the ball is worked to the back and a great way to counter the disengagement.
Therefore if opponents want to move out of the way thats up to them so no reason to award a penalty but from about 10 metres in I would imagine that would be try time and penalty enough.
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Re: Is the maul dead?

Postby Russ » Tue Nov 11, 2014 2:38 pm

Sorries tried the running away from the maul tactic against Munter.
It worked once

Second time Paulie kept the ball at the front. Sorries ran away, someone grabbed a sorries player to make the maul. The ref thought the ball was at the back and thus gave obstruction
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Re: Is the maul dead?

Postby bazzaj » Tue Nov 11, 2014 3:16 pm

Reiterates my early point of refs being switched on to this and getting their attention before or during the game.
No point insisting to the ref in hindsight that you all disengaged the maul, whilst standing underneath your posts having conceded a try from a catch and drive.
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Re: Is the maul dead?

Postby BR » Tue Nov 11, 2014 6:29 pm

The mail from open play is still as valid as it always was. The tactic (and it has been around for many years) of not engaging is really only viable from a lineout (or maybe tapped free), where the legitimacy of the maul is questionable in the first place.
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Re: Is the maul dead?

Postby BR » Tue Nov 11, 2014 6:33 pm

I also thought Poite was being especially pedantic regarding the maul. SA would have had a try in the first half with any other ref imho - instead Poite called it stationary twice and gave us a scrum (from which we won a penalty to clear our lines)
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Re: Is the maul dead?

Postby mikerob » Tue Nov 11, 2014 7:41 pm

The point about a penalty for not engaging with a maul seems to have been guidance for the JWC as it isn't on the IRB list of general law clarifications.

The JWC clarification said:

At the recent JWC tournament, the IRB made a decision around how the referee should apply the Law in this case.

This is what was decided, within Law, in order to give everyone clarity around the reaction to a defending team choosing not to engage in the potential maul from a line out:

1) If the defenders in the line out choose to not engage the line out drive by leaving the line out as a group, then PK to attacking team.
2) If the defenders in the line out choose to not engage the line out drive by simply opening up a gap and creating space, and not leaving the line out, the following process would be followed:
a) Attackers would need to keep the ball with the front player, if they were to drive downfield (therefore play on, general play -defenders could either engage to form a maul, or tackle the ball carrier only)
b) If they had immediately passed it back to the player at the rear of the group, the referee would tell them to "Use it" which they must do immediately...
c) If they drove forward with the ball at the back (and did not release the ball), the referee would award a scrum for "accidental offside" rather than PK for obstruction.

The reason the IRB used (which was widely accepted by both team coaches & referees) was that we did not want this tactic to be unfairly rewarded with a PK v the attack team, as we felt this went entirely against the principle of rugby being a "contest".

We believe that teams who are adept at mauling will very quickly make use of their options to their advantage and therefore defending teams will be taking a massive risk if they choose not to compete with the initial maul.
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Re: Is the maul dead?

Postby Russ » Tue Nov 11, 2014 10:42 pm

mikerob wrote:The point about a penalty for not engaging with a maul seems to have been guidance for the JWC as it isn't on the IRB list of general law clarifications.

The JWC clarification said:

At the recent JWC tournament, the IRB made a decision around how the referee should apply the Law in this case.

This is what was decided, within Law, in order to give everyone clarity around the reaction to a defending team choosing not to engage in the potential maul from a line out:

1) If the defenders in the line out choose to not engage the line out drive by leaving the line out as a group, then PK to attacking team.
2) If the defenders in the line out choose to not engage the line out drive by simply opening up a gap and creating space, and not leaving the line out, the following process would be followed:
a) Attackers would need to keep the ball with the front player, if they were to drive downfield (therefore play on, general play -defenders could either engage to form a maul, or tackle the ball carrier only)
b) If they had immediately passed it back to the player at the rear of the group, the referee would tell them to "Use it" which they must do immediately...
c) If they drove forward with the ball at the back (and did not release the ball), the referee would award a scrum for "accidental offside" rather than PK for obstruction.

The reason the IRB used (which was widely accepted by both team coaches & referees) was that we did not want this tactic to be unfairly rewarded with a PK v the attack team, as we felt this went entirely against the principle of rugby being a "contest".

We believe that teams who are adept at mauling will very quickly make use of their options to their advantage and therefore defending teams will be taking a massive risk if they choose not to compete with the initial maul.

Poite did none of this
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Re: Is the maul dead?

Postby bazzaj » Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:02 am

In other words mike, common sense was applied.
The clever thing Ireland did was challenge the ball at the back which did make it a contest.
SA were caught on the hop by clever tactics.

Watched the LV cup highlights yesterday and the majority of tries were ponderous lineout catch and drives.
I believe this leads to unimaginative, lazy coaching and tactics and more importantly a dull spectacle.
Any way of countering this will be a breathe of fresh air.

Possibly even a rule change will help.
But thats just me and my love of innovation in the game.
I am sure others feel differently.
Last edited by bazzaj on Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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