Ruck/Maul formed in goal? At our last match, the red team was attacking toward the blue teams goal and was within 5m for a good 1 minute. When a ruck on the goal line was turned over to blue. In the heat of the battle the ruck moved entirely into the in goal area with out much of the players noticing. When a red player finally realized this he ran around the "ruck" (really just a pile of players in goal?) and touched the ball down. The referee whistled him for offsides and blue assumed a penalty kick on the 5m, is this correct, can you have a ruck in goal and thus an offsides line? In the same context a when a maul enters the in goal area does there remain an offsides line?
Thanks, Ryan, New York.Ryan
Lets look at some law references
16.6 Successful end to a ruck
A ruck ends successfully when the ball leaves the ruck, or when the ball is on or over the goal line.
22.6 Scrum, ruck or maul pushed into in-goal
A scrum, ruck or maul can take place only in the field of play. As soon as a scrum, ruck or maul is pushed across the goal line, a player may legally ground the ball.This results in a touch down or try.
So when the ruck moved into in-goal, the ruck ended. When the ruck ended offside lines disappeared.
At this point we were basically in open play. So the red player (or any other player) can run round and ground the ball for a try.
With a maul, the defenders offside line is the back foot of the maul. As the maul enters in-goal the offside line becomes the goal line, instead of the back foot, since the maul (and the back foot) don't exist in in-goal. So defenders can stay alongside the maul as long as they don't cross the goal line (which is now the offside line). What they can't do is go into the side of the maul from that position if they cross the goal line to do so.
The Rugby Ref