Mark Hammett: Bulls' rolling mauls 'illegal'

TOBY ROBSON
Last updated 05:00 04/04/2014
Mark Hammett
ROB JEFFRIES/ Getty

UNIMPRESSED: Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett believes the Bulls' rolling maul is illegal, but accepts there'll be no law change mid-season.

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Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett has dubbed the Bulls deadly rolling mauls from lineouts as ''totally illegal'', but says there will be no pre-match approach to the referee or post-match whinge.

Hammett accepts the practice has been sanctioned by referees despite going against rugby's rules and that there will not suddenly be a crackdown in Napier on Saturday.

''The rolling maul is completely illegal in terms of how it's set up, but I've talked to refs numerous times and numerous other coaches have done that as well, but it's something at the moment they [the referees] aren't prepared to change.

''The biggest issue isn't around the maul, it's the entry of players coming in, in front of the ball carrier and it's done continuously,'' he said.

''I don't think it's something that will change midseason, if at all.''

The Chiefs were powerless to stop the Bulls' maul in Pretoria last week conceding a penalty try and a try, but Hammett said it wasn't impossible to negate.

''You have to stop it at the source, whether it's getting up in the air or stopping it before the train gets moving.''

That's a tough ask for Hurricanes locks James Broadhurst and Jeremy Thrush against a Bulls lineout that's the most efficient in Super Rugby with a 94 per cent success rate on their own throw.

The Bulls have based a lot of their mauls around lineout ace and captain Victor Matfield, but he won't be playing in Napier.

Matfield will be with the Bulls when they arrive today, but is on their tour mainly in a coaching capacity. Lock Flip van der Merwe takes over the captaincy against the Hurricanes.

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- The Dominion Post

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