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Thoughts on driving mauls?

hendrix

Hall of Fame Member
My father called them a blight on the game and accurately predicted that they'd feature in most tries in this world cup.

I wouldn't go so far as saying that they should be banned, but I have noticed a massive increase in the advantage the attacking teams with the way it's being refereed. This year we've seen:
- players are able to carry the ball to the back of the maul (should technically be off side) rather than passing it back the way you would in a traditional maul
- players are joining the maul in front of the ball carrier. Again, should be off side.
The consequence of this is that there's no way for a defensive team to isolate the ball carrier, no matter how well executed their defense is.

Moreover, attacking teams can now break off from the maul, and drive forward with players still in front of them. This should technically mean that it's no longer a maul, and a defensive player should be allowed to come around and tackle the player at the back. However, that is currently being policed as off side. Which is wrong.

There needs to be a balance between attack and defense and at the moment there is no way to defend the driving maul.
 

ripper868

Cricketer Of The Year
Have no issue with them, a part of rugby, both teams have the opportunity to execute them so it's hardly an unfair thing. difficult to stop sure, but why shouldn't the piggies be rewarded for dominance?
 

flibbertyjibber

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
I have no real problem with them but as Hendrix says some of the refereeing is making it too one sided so we are bound to see more. Needs to be sorted but won't be until after this tournament has finished.
 

Hurricane

Hall of Fame Member
I know many people who are opposed to them. I think they will jump the shark when teams figure out a way to start them from 3rd and 4th phase ball.
 

dermo

International Vice-Captain
wouldnt say im opposed to them, but i'm not a huge fan. don't think i'd shed to many tears if they were outlawed tbh
 

91Jmay

International Coach
Proper driving maul is fine but as you say they are being reffed terribly at the moment, the players joining infront of the ball carrier is a real blight.

A 13 man shove 5 meters out is pretty exciting though.
 

BoyBrumby

Englishman
I think, as with a lot of issues with the senior code, it's an officiating failing rather than a problem with the rules as such*. Not so very long back the rules were changed to allow the defending side to legitimately bring the maul down.

Consistency in refereeing is a massive blight on the game.

*See also: crooked feeds at the scrum.
 

Howe_zat

Audio File
Probably the one thing I would change if I had to. The entire game in open play is based around the ball carrier being at the front of the team, he can only pass backwards, anyone in front is offside or obstructing. That's the shape of the sport. For some reason this isn't true in the maul where you're allowed to get all your mates between you and getting tackled.

I think it can be a pretty fun thing to watch when you're invested, cheering your whole team rumble towards the line has a 'go on you bastards don't lose it don't lose it don't lose it' feel that you can probably compare to the batting team edging their way to a run chase in cricket. But the driving maul seems like it would be more at home in NFL than in rugby.
 

Hurricane

Hall of Fame Member
It's going out of fashion amongst fans. I could post a series of posts about it which all boil down to what Howe has said. People believe it is on a limited shelf life. So long as it is only used from 5 metre line outs I don't see it leaving the game in the next two years unless a world cup final is altered by it in a manner that is perceived to be unfair.
 

Uppercut

Request Your Custom Title Now!
Yeah I pretty much agree with everyone else here.

Although I also think that if you changed the rules to make it less effective, we would probably just see teams taking a lot of pots at goal instead of line-outs.
 

hendrix

Hall of Fame Member
Yeah I pretty much agree with everyone else here.

Although I also think that if you changed the rules to make it less effective, we would probably just see teams taking a lot of pots at goal instead of line-outs.
Most teams have 1-3 players who are pretty much guaranteed to break the advantage line. Getting a try from 5m out isn't that difficult.

The problem is that now it also comes with the chance of a yellow for the defensive team too.
 

91Jmay

International Coach
Yeah I pretty much agree with everyone else here.

Although I also think that if you changed the rules to make it less effective, we would probably just see teams taking a lot of pots at goal instead of line-outs.
Yeah this is true, it reduces the point of kicking to corner from penalty quite a lot. Scrum is already a very risky option for most teams, so this does then bring kicks at goal back in .

Rugby a very delicate eco system, need to be careful.
 

Furball

Evil Scotsman
A blight on the game the way they're being policed. Defence basically has 2 options: concede a try or concede a penalty/penalty try and get someone binned for bringing the maul down.
 

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