Clip 4 – 6 September 2018 - Law 16

Reinach Venter, the Cheetahs' hooker, charges ahead into Chiliboy Ralepelle and Gideon Koegelenberg of the Sharks. The three remain on the feet and then the Cheetahs' locks, Dennis Visser and Louis Conradie, join in to support their man Venter.

The referee says: "Maul." Venter gets a knee onto the ground, which scrumhalf Rudy Paige points out to the referee, and the maul falls down. The referee awards a scrum to the Sharks.

The referee is right.

It is a maul.


  • It consists of a ball-carrier and at least one player from each team, bound together and on their feet.
  • Venter is the ball-carrier and there are two players from each team bound together and on their feet.
  • A maul stays a maul till it ends. It does not end by becoming a tackle or a ruck.


  • 16. A maul ends and play continues when:
    • a. The ball or ball-carrier leaves the maul.
    • b. The ball is on the ground.
    • c. The ball is on or over the goal line.
  • 17. A maul ends unsuccessfully when:
    • a. The ball becomes unplayable.
    • b. The maul collapses (not as a result of foul play).
    • c. The maul does not move towards a goal line for longer than five seconds and the ball does not emerge.
    • d. The ball-carrier goes to ground and the ball is not immediately available.
    • e. 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.

Law 19 determines whose ball it will be if a maul ends unsuccessfully.

In the case of a maul that ends unsuccessfully, Law 19.1 says: The team not in possession at the start of the maul. If the referee cannot decide which team had possession, the team moving forward before the maul stopped. If neither team was moving forward, the attacking team.

The Sharks were not in possession at the start of this maul and so they have the put-in to the scrum.

It is important for the referee to determine that it is a maul as soon as it becomes one. advert