'Use It' at the Scrum

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'Use It' at the Scrum

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 16 May 2016, 3:55 pm

(Forgive me for starting a new thread - there used to be an 'Ask the Ref' thread, but it seems to have disappeared.)

In last weekend's Challenge and Champions Cup finals, we had instances where the referee shouted for the scrum half that had fed the scrum to 'use it', and in both instances that team's pack was moving forward. Is this a new law, or a new application of an old one? Why is it on the whim of the referee when to call 'use it'? It seems to me to be a way for the referee to get out of having to award a penalty against the team being driven backwards.

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Re: 'Use It' at the Scrum

Post by formerly known as Sam on Mon 16 May 2016, 3:58 pm

If the scrum is stationary the ref can call for the scrum half to use it. Same as if a maul isn't moving or the breakdown is won. What often seems to happen is that as soon as the ref shouts use it the defensive back row stop pushing and look up meaning that they start moving backwards.

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Re: 'Use It' at the Scrum

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 16 May 2016, 4:00 pm

I'm not sure if that's what happened on the weekend. In the Challenge Cup final, Quins' pack was already back-pedalling before the call of 'use it' (as I recall it).

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Re: 'Use It' at the Scrum

Post by marty2086 on Mon 16 May 2016, 4:29 pm

What irritates me are the refs shouting use it repeatedly and the team don't yet no offence is called, Poite is the worst with this seen him to it too many times just don't think he knows the penalty and bottles it.

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Re: 'Use It' at the Scrum

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 16 May 2016, 4:45 pm

World Rugby wrote:20.10 Ending the scrum

(d)

When a team has the ball at the number 8’s feet, and is trying to move forward but is not succeeding in doing so, the referee will call “use-it” once the ball has been at the number 8’s feet for a reasonable amount of time (3-5 seconds). The team must then use the ball immediately.

This is law I'm talking about. It's clear that the call of 'use it' applies when a scrum is not moving forward, and fair enough, but I'm as certain as I can be without watching the matches again that both scrums were already moving when the referees called 'use it'.


Last edited by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 16 May 2016, 4:49 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : clarity (?))

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Re: 'Use It' at the Scrum

Post by LondonTiger on Mon 16 May 2016, 4:46 pm

I thought the calls of "use it " this weekend were when the scrum was at risk of being called over and being reset with defending team gaining put in, for going 90 degrees for example. However I do feel that, Owens especially but not exclusively, has effectively penalised a team that is marching forward and still in control of the ball. The opposition often have players in position to scrag the no8 as soon as he picks up - and how can a flanker (or even worse the opposing No8) do that legally?

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Re: 'Use It' at the Scrum

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 16 May 2016, 5:04 pm

LondonTiger wrote:I do feel that, Owens especially but not exclusively, has effectively penalised a team that is marching forward and still in control of the ball.

This is what I mean. I can't see anything in the laws that obliges a team moving forward to get the ball out of the scrum. I don't think we can / should have a situation where the referee can decide whether or not a team is allowed to use the scrum as a weapon.

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Re: 'Use It' at the Scrum

Post by sad_gimp on Mon 16 May 2016, 5:17 pm

Should always be a call to use it if the ball is available imo. NH game is dull enough at the moment without watching scrum halves looking at the ball waiting for the whistle so we get another exciting penalty or reset.

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Re: 'Use It' at the Scrum

Post by thebandwagonsociety on Mon 16 May 2016, 6:22 pm

There was a ridiculous situation in the Jaguars v stormers(?) game in Super Rugby
Scrum to Jags.
Ball put in crooked (never picked up on by ref).
Ball at the locks feet and good honest scrum contest going on, Jags on verge of creeping forward.
Ref shouts 'use it', where the Jag's no.8 then tries to reach in past the locks with his feet at first, not reaching the ball.
Ref shouts 'use it' again, Jag's no.8 tries to pick up ball from under locks legs and fumbles the ball.
Ref whistles for a knock on.
At no time was the ball anywhere close to the No.8s feet or in a position to be taken from the scrum.

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Re: 'Use It' at the Scrum

Post by LondonTiger on Mon 16 May 2016, 7:30 pm

mid_gen wrote:Should always be a call to use it if the ball is available imo. NH game is dull enough at the moment without watching scrum halves looking at the ball waiting for the whistle so we get another exciting penalty or reset.

Even if the scrum is going forward quickly?

Would that not be similar to telling a player running with the ball to pass it?

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Re: 'Use It' at the Scrum

Post by TJ on Mon 16 May 2016, 8:15 pm

The way to stop teams playing for scrum penalties is to make them freekicks - and use yellow cards for repeat offenders.

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Re: 'Use It' at the Scrum

Post by Seagultaf on Mon 16 May 2016, 8:44 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:I do feel that, Owens especially but not exclusively, has effectively penalised a team that is marching forward and still in control of the ball.

This is what I mean. I can't see anything in the laws that obliges a team moving forward to get the ball out of the scrum. I don't think we can / should have a situation where the referee can decide whether or not a team is allowed to use the scrum as a weapon.

Owens has been doing this for some time, it's really annoying when your side is driving forward, I get the feeling some times that he is making the laws up as he goes along.

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Re: 'Use It' at the Scrum

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Tue 17 May 2016, 4:32 pm

If Owens has been doing it for a while, Lacey's started to follow suit.

If World Rugby does want teams to use the ball from the scrum once they've won it, even if it's moving forward, then they need to make that explicit, so that teams don't waste their time targeting the opposition at the scrum. Playing for scrum penalties might not be attractive to everyone, but as it stands it's a perfectly valid means of attack.

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Re: 'Use It' at the Scrum

Post by LondonTiger on Tue 17 May 2016, 4:47 pm

Driving forward is not always about trying to win penalties - though far too many teams look for that as first option. It should put a team's defences on the back foot and remember they have to be 5m back from the scrum.

Sadly too many refs allow back rows tow spin and detach making it difficult to clear the ball cleanly - even when moving forward.

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Re: 'Use It' at the Scrum

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 19 May 2016, 11:35 am

Just thought I'd post this article from Craig Dowd here - it's a good read:

http://www.espn.co.uk/rugby/story/_/id/15579773/scrums-continue-frustrate-just-get-ball-no8

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Re: 'Use It' at the Scrum

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