Clip 1 – 2 July 2018 - Law 21

A penalty gives South Africa a line-out five metres from England's goal-line. They maul and drive at the line and get close. The ball comes back to scrumhalf Faf de Klerk.

He passes to prop Steven Kitshoff on his right and Kitshoff drives at the line with support from Pieter-Steph du Toit and RG Snyman. Three England players try to stop Kitshoff - Kyle Sinckler, Brad Shields and Maro Itoje.

All six players are on their feet and the referee calls "maul." The South Africans get over the line when it all collapses, the ball in Kitshoff's possession off the ground.

The referee awards a scrum to South Africa.

  • It is a maul
  • It collapsed
  • South Africa initiated the maul
  • Should it not be England's scrum?


  • A maul can take place only in the field of play.
  • It consists of a ball-carrier and at least one player from each team, bound together and on their feet.
  • Once formed, a maul must move towards a goal line.

This was a maul and it was moving towards the England goal-line.

Law 16.16 - ENDING 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

When the maul reached the line, it stopped being a maul.

When the bundle of players fell to ground, that was not a maul collapsing.

The ball that South Africa was carrying, was not grounded. It was held up.


  • When a player carrying the ball is held up in the in-goal so that the player cannot ground or play the ball, the ball is dead
  • Play restarts with a five-metre scrum, in line with the place where the player was held up
  • The attacking team throws in

The decision to award a five-metre scrum to South Africa was correct. advert