The Uncontested Maul Defence Spreads to International Rugby

hqdefault (1)

This season has seen the emergence of the uncontested maul defence and it seems it has now finally spread to international rugby after appearing in a number of games this weekend.



Are you a fan of this style of maul defence?




  1. Its an interesting point here. As a South African I am obviously not overjoyed as it completely kills one of our biggest weapons. At the same time, there is the argument that the maul is just a big truck and trailer. So i think there needs to be a clearer definition of the maul. If the maul is still a legal move within the laws then players coming in from the side should not be allowed, as Ireland did many times on Saturdays

    • Hey Shaun, in the interests of full disclosure I’m Irish so on the opposite side of the coin with regard to the win at the weekend!

      That being said, I do agree that it is an interesting development in forward play. My opinion is that it is against the ‘spirit’ of the maul i.e. 2 packs trying to out muscle and out think each other regarding positioning, driving angle, how many men to commit etc and I’m sure we can all agree that ‘tests of strength’ are an inherent part of the game we love.

      I don’t necessarily agree that the maul needs to be better defined however. The correct technique is that the line out receiver needs to retain possession of the ball until such time as the opposition engages and only then funnel it backwards for protection. In all these instances, once the line out receiver retains possession then the attacking maul is quite legal in progressing up the pitch, any player coming around from the side is then offside.

      In the clip above from the weekend, the SA pack would be quite legal in crashing through the single Irish player standing in the way, which would then have forced the Irish team to engage in a traditional maul, alternatively the prop coming around could have been penalised.

      It’s going to impact on a lot of traditional forward based teams, certainly my team (Munster) will have to rethink and practice as the maul is certainly a big part of their arsenal as well

Leave a Reply