Clip 7 - 15 May 2017 - Law 17
"Your man took it down."
Playing against the Hurricanes, the Blues throw into a line-out. They win the ball and form a maul. They march the maul several metres downfield where the maul collapses.
The referee awards a scrum to the Hurricanes.
17.6 Unsuccessful end to a maul
(b) A maul ends unsuccessfully if the ball becomes unplayable or collapses (not as a result of foul play) and a scrum is ordered .
(c) Scrum following maul. The ball is thrown in by the team not in possession when the maul began. If the referee cannot decide which team had possession, the team moving forward before the maul stopped throws in the ball. If neither team was moving forward, the attacking team throws in the ball.
This is what the referee bases his decision to award the scrum to the Hurricanes.
He also suggests that it was a Blues' player who had "taken it down", which suggests collapsing it, presumably in the hope of freeing up the ball for his side.
Is it OK if the ball-carrying team collapses a maul.
Law 10.4 (k) Players must not intentionally collapse a scrum, ruck or maul.
Sanction: Penalty kick
Players - not just the team not in possession of the ball.
Why is it illegal to collapse a scrum?
Probably because it is dangerous to the players - and also a bit of play detrimental to the game.
Murder is not wrong because it is forbidden by the 10 Commandments; it is forbidden by the 10 commandments because it is wrong.
Collapsing a maul is not illegal because the law says so; the law says so because it is the wrong and dangerous thing to do.
There would be a case for penalising the Blues for collapsing their own maul.
Now there's a thought.