Leg lifters the not so subtle art of interfering with a maul
Excuse the repeat post. Previously posted amongst Lions banter. Suggested and can see why this might be a better home in the long term.
Whilst I came away from watching the 1st test (Oz v Lions) concerned with several aspects of Refereeing decisions, nothing struck me so obviously, as being, apparently 'contrary to the rules' as the failure to act in anyway when Wallabies followed a pattern of interfering at mauls by dragging or lifting the leg's of targeted lions.
One of the most obvious was that by Barnes on North (George did find himself in a few).
The law now reads in rule 17.3 (a) as a player must not drag an opponent from the maul.
I believe it used to read as 'to remove or attempt to remove' and the sanction is a penalty. I remember from earlier days when, having been thrown in as auxiliary flanker, from centre, I gave one away being 'inexcusably' insufficiently au fait with the dark arts.
Most referees seem to frown on it and a penalty will ensue if continued. Though the call of 'leave the legs' or similar usually is sufficient to identify, warn and disengage the suspect.
Now it is clear that coaches are still teaching this as a technique (and for the early ruck it is perfect for the clear away) but how is it that no censure, or sanction is being imposed at international level for a maul where we are informed that anything destabilising it or bring it down will be actioned? Not just kicking Pollock here he was one of three refs on the field who must have seen these instances.
This was always seen as dangerous play (seem to remember that's what the ref said to me as I was penalised) and rightly so. Should team persisting with this tactic not lead to a warning and without lessons being learnt yellow carding?
Does anyone else find this troubling?