Clip 3 - 5 March 2018 - Law 16
Jayden Hayward of Italy kicks high downfield. Rob Kearney of Ireland leaps up and catches the ball. He immediately starts running to the left and passes to Jacob Stockdale on the left wing. Stockdale makes ground but is brought down by Federico Ruzza.
As he goes to ground Stockdale pops the ball to Keith Earls. Tommaso Castello and Mattia Bellini of Italy, grab Earls. They stay on their feet. Kearney joins in to support Earls who keeps on moving ahead. Earls, Castello, Bellini and Kearney are all on their feet.
The referee calls Maul.
Maul: A phase of play consisting of a ball-carrier and at least one player from each team, bound together and on their feet.
Earls is the ball-carrier, Castello and Bellini and then Kearney, players from each team who are on their feet, bind together.
It is a maul. There is nothing that says that the four players must be stationary for it to be a maul.
Kieran Marmion of Ireland also joins in, and Kearney slips down on Earls, clearly trying to help him get a knee on the ground in the hope that the referee will decide that it is a tackle and so oblige the Italians to release Earls.
A maul cannot become a tackle.
The maul goes into touch, and Italy throws into a line-out.
It is correct refereeing. It is important to identify what phase of play is happening.