Clip 2 - 7 December 2017 - Law 17

Whose ball?

Ross Cronje of South Africa, kicks a high up-'-under, four South Africans chase it. Jayden Hayward, Italy's fullback catches the ball. Eben Etzebeth of South Africa grabs Hayden and holds him up while Dillyn Leyds and Lood de Jager join in. Sergio Parisse. Braam Steyn and Tommaso Boni join to protect Hayward. The referee announces that it is a maul, which it is. The maul collapses, the ball is unplayable and the referee awards a scrum to South Africa for a collapsed maul which they did not start. But the referee remembered an exception to the law, apologised and awarded the scrum to Italy,

Law 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.
(h) Scrum after a maul when catcher is held. If a player catches the ball direct from an opponent’s kick, except from a kick-off or a drop-out, and the player is immediately held by an opponent, a maul may form. Then if the maul remains stationary, stops moving forward for longer than 5 seconds, or if the ball becomes unplayable, and a scrum is ordered, the team of the ball catcher throws in the ball.
‘Direct from an opponent’s kick’ means the ball did not touch another player or the ground before the player caught it.

The referee was right to award the scrum to Italy.

Boni (13) could well have been penalised for being offside and for dangerously pulling Leyds's leg.

Law 17.3 Other maul offences
(a) A player must not try to drag an opponent out of a maul.
Sanction: Penalty kick advert