Clip 1 – 5 March 2019 - Law 16

The Sunwolves have the ball going right. Phil Burleigh takes a short pass but is quickly grabbed by the Chiefs' centres, Orbyn Leger and Tumua Manu.

All three stay on their feet. Hayden Parker (10) and James Moore of the Sunwolves come in to support Burleigh. When they do so the referee calls "Maul". Mitchell Karpik of the Chiefs joins in as the Sunwolves are moving the maul forward.

Burleigh manages to lower his body so that his knee is on the ground. The maul collapses and the ball does not emerge. The referee awards a scrum, to the Chiefs.

Law 16: Ending a maul

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.

It is clear that this maul has ended unsuccessfully. But who gets the ball?

Law 19.1

Stoppage: A maul that ends unsuccessfully
Who throws in: 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 Chiefs did not have the ball when the maul started. They get the throw-in at the scrum.

In all respects the referee was correct. The best bit of his refereeing was to call the maul early - when it first formed. That Burleigh got a knee down after that is irrelevant as a maul does not turn itself into a tackle.     

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