Clip 1 – 3 September 2018 - Law 16
The Blue Bulls throw into a line-out. Hanro Liebenberg goes up, catches the ball and brings it down. The players form a maul around Liebenberg and the ball is worked back to hooker Jaco Visagie.
The Blue Bulls run the maul along until it falls. The referee says: "Your own men collapsed the maul." He lets play go on.
Did the Blue Bulls really collapse their own maul?
There are three Blue Bulls on the ground when it collapses and no Golden Lions. It was surely right that the Blue Bulls had caused the collapse of their own maul.
Right to let play go on?
Law 16: DURING A MAUL
11. Players must not:
- a. Intentionally collapse a maul or jump on top of it.
- b. Attempt to drag an opponent out of a maul.
- Sanction: Penalty.
Does the fact that the maul was collapsed by Blue Bulls make it all right in law?
Players must not. Players, not just opponents to those carrying the ball in the maul.
The law was introduced in the interest of player safety. Collapsing a maul was outlawed because it was regarded as dangerous. If it is a dangerous action, it is dangerous regardless of who does it.
It seems to have become a referee's modus operandi to overlook the collapsing of the maul if the ball-carrying side collapses it.