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When will the scrum laws be sorted out?

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When will the scrum laws be sorted out? Empty When will the scrum laws be sorted out?

Post by screamingaddabs Tue 19 Mar 2013, 1:26 pm

Firstly, this post isn't to go into the minutiae of the scrum, it's more about if/when the IRB may look at sorting the mess that is the scrum out.

Over the past year or so I've heard many people agree with Brian Moore's scrum "suggestions". These are:

1) Get rid of the hit and check the binds before the ball comes in
2) Don't push until the ball comes in
3) make sure the put in is straight

There are also suggestions of "binding strips" on the props shirts, involving the nearside linesman and other such things.

Now, as I said, this isn't really about whether this is a good idea or if small changes to what is suggested might be needed (I'm sure it will descend into this however). The question I'd like to ask is:

1. If the IRB were to change the scrum laws, when would that happen.
2. Are they likely to change the scrum laws any time soon even if they can.
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Post by nlpnlp Tue 19 Mar 2013, 1:37 pm

The only change in law I see is a virtual doing away with scrums, so that they become rugby league style - just a way of collecting a group of forwards together to give the backs more room. What they want is the New Zealand/Australia basket ball type game with scores 60 - 40. They don't want meaningful scrums that aren't pretty, take up valuable try scoring time and lead to players getting serious neck injuries.

As a junior age grade rugby coach, scrums are being taken out of the game at the younger ages with the emphasis purely on running with the ball.

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Post by screamingaddabs Tue 19 Mar 2013, 1:44 pm

Well I think that would be a real shame. If we want rugby league we would play and watch rugby league!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXBIXqvNfwA

check this video around 20:10 or so.

In even older games the front row form up first against one another, then the second rows go in.

But, even if they changed the laws in a bad way (like getting rid of the scrum!) when would they be able to do it? Is there an official "rules review" time of year?
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Post by nlpnlp Tue 19 Mar 2013, 1:58 pm

I think Experimental Law Changes are normally made 1 August in the northern hemisphere - timing is an issue between north and south seasons. So one hemisphere will trial an experimental law change first to see how it works and then it gets voted on by the various unions in May.

At junior age rugby scrums were completely taken out for under 9s in the 2012/13 season and uncontested scrums only at the under 10s.

If you happen to have a strong front row (Wales at the moment), then you will be in favour of 'proper' scrums. For South Africa they enjoy all that macho scrummaging (as do Argentina and Italy). But for other teams, running rugby is where the emphasis is and having fat props just gets in the way of that.

The main issue is that until referees have a clue about scrums, poor scrummaging teams are going to try and disrupt them and take the chance that the refs will just split the penalties 50:50. At the moment they seem a lottery and a frustration, so sadly I would be happy to go to uncontested scrums to get on with the game.

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Post by dummy_half Tue 19 Mar 2013, 2:00 pm

Screaming

It would be a start if the referees actually applied the laws as currently written. Particularly the one that says that the scrum should be square to the touch line and stationary until the ball is put in. Just enforcing that one would by default do away with all this 'winning the hit' nonsense and would give the props half a chance to get a bind and for the ref to check that it's legal.

Surely by a strict definition, the 'hit' is both sides committing the offence of charging.

(I was looking at the Laws earlier today, as I was unaware of the exstence of the Law on delaying the put in that Walsh pinged Youngs for twice on Saturday)

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Post by geoff998rugby Tue 19 Mar 2013, 2:04 pm

Exactly - by the strick letter of the law the 'hit' is illegal.

Yet refs penalise teams for not taking the hit steam

Ref the rules as written and we would be in much better shap - ball in straight and follow the SH example of being strick about flopping over the ball at the breakdown.

It is simple - just apply the rules

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Post by gregortree Tue 19 Mar 2013, 2:06 pm

screamingaddabs wrote:Firstly, this post isn't to go into the minutiae of the scrum, it's more about if/when the IRB may look at sorting the mess that is the scrum out.

Over the past year or so I've heard many people agree with Brian Moore's scrum "suggestions". These are:

1) Get rid of the hit and check the binds before the ball comes in
2) Don't push until the ball comes in
3) make sure the put in is straight

Isn't 3 a bit radical ?

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Post by lostinwales Tue 19 Mar 2013, 2:06 pm

There is an issue that whatever happens a lot of brains will be working hard on ways to err 'take advantage' of whatever comes out. But something has to change. Too many scrums ending in a penalty or free kick. Nobody bothering to put the ball in even remotely straight.

You would have thought at its best scrums should be good for the game - properly tie in half the players into one place at one time allowing a bit of space for the backs to - you know - actually do something with the ball.

How about one of the touch judges coming infield to watch the other side of the scrum from the ref?

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Post by screamingaddabs Tue 19 Mar 2013, 2:06 pm

nlpnlp wrote:I think Experimental Law Changes are normally made 1 August in the northern hemisphere - timing is an issue between north and south seasons. So one hemisphere will trial an experimental law change first to see how it works and then it gets voted on by the various unions in May.

At junior age rugby scrums were completely taken out for under 9s in the 2012/13 season and uncontested scrums only at the under 10s.

If you happen to have a strong front row (Wales at the moment), then you will be in favour of 'proper' scrums. For South Africa they enjoy all that macho scrummaging (as do Argentina and Italy). But for other teams, running rugby is where the emphasis is and having fat props just gets in the way of that.

The main issue is that until referees have a clue about scrums, poor scrummaging teams are going to try and disrupt them and take the chance that the refs will just split the penalties 50:50. At the moment they seem a lottery and a frustration, so sadly I would be happy to go to uncontested scrums to get on with the game.

By other teams you mean the Aussies right? Almost everyone on here seems keen to keep scrums. As for the no fatties, running rugby comment, that's drivel. Having two or three bigger players needed for the scrum creates more room for the quick guys to utilise, more "mismatches" and more entertaining rugby.

I think uncontested scrums is an awful idea. It's just giving up.

Thanks for the info on when the laws can be reviewed though, that's the kind of thing I was after. In which country does your junior rugby info apply to? England?
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Post by LondonTiger Tue 19 Mar 2013, 2:15 pm

Proper scrums, as with proper rucks and mauls where teams have to commit players tie in players and free up space.

Where we are now is like watching rugby league with lineouts and two extra forwards.

The laws as they stood, and were applied, in 1991would stand us in much better stead. the big boys would be tied up winning the ball and the skillfull players could dazzle us.


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Post by Poorfour Tue 19 Mar 2013, 2:38 pm

Thought it was the ABs who were in favour of the hit (at least, IIRC, they invented it as a way to get an edge on a much bigger Saffa scrum).

But it is simple, Brian is right: referee the laws as written, remove the hit, ensure the scrum is stable before put in (and if not, penalise the team that's shoving), and enforce a straight put in and a proper hook.

It's not even as if it would reduce the value of the scrum or the ability of a good team to get an edge. I can remember watching games in the 80s where one team could march the other back metres if they had the edge.

Will the IRB do it? Will they heck. No idea why. Throw 'em all out and put Moore in charge until it's sorted out.
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Post by screamingaddabs Tue 19 Mar 2013, 2:54 pm

Poorfour wrote:
Will the IRB do it? Will they heck. No idea why. Throw 'em all out and put Moore in charge until it's sorted out.

This is what I don't understand. I have heard very few people disagree with Moore's suggestions beyond minor quibbles on the details. Why are the IRB seemingly so reticent to do anything? For a few years now commentators in the NH have been whining about the scrum. As have fans. The IRB's response? Say "Set" not "Engage". Wow.

What are the chances of something being trialled along the lines of following the current laws properly? Maybe even a Stellenbosch trial like the ELVs had? Surely a better scrum will lead to better, more flowing rugby, with more gaps and mismatches as "proper" props and hookers become common.
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Post by ReadBetweenthePosts Tue 19 Mar 2013, 4:33 pm

The IRB will be trialling a new scrum binding process this summer in the Pacific Rugby Cup.

It's an idea I thought of before so I might be a biased about it, but I think it sounds good.

The plan is to retain "Crouch, Touch, Set" command, but on "touch" the props form a bind, then on "set" they come together in their own time...

Realistically "in their own time" will be an immediate hit, but at a reduced intensity as they will be closer together and props shouldn't miss (or just not bother trying to find) their bind.

http://www.planetrugby.com/story/0,25883,3943_8514122,00.html

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Post by screamingaddabs Tue 19 Mar 2013, 4:41 pm

ReadBetweenthePosts wrote:The IRB will be trialling a new scrum binding process this summer in the Pacific Rugby Cup.

It's an idea I thought of before so I might be a biased about it, but I think it sounds good.

The plan is to retain "Crouch, Touch, Set" command, but on "touch" the props form a bind, then on "set" they come together in their own time...

Realistically "in their own time" will be an immediate hit, but at a reduced intensity as they will be closer together and props shouldn't miss (or just not bother trying to find) their bind.

http://www.planetrugby.com/story/0,25883,3943_8514122,00.html

Cool, thanks for the link. Sounds like a step in the right direction.

Edit: No mention of a straight put in though Crying or Very sad but still - right direction at least.
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Post by Poorfour Tue 19 Mar 2013, 5:12 pm

I've got some hopes for that change. It should at least reduce the hit but I can't imagine it will stop teams pushing before the ball goes in or reintroduce actual hooking.
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Post by doddieman Tue 19 Mar 2013, 10:44 pm

Given the type of shirts worn in modern rugby how can the props bind properly? Attaching handles to props shirts or making them wear a looser fitting shirt would help them bind and reduce scrum collapses too.

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Post by jelly Wed 20 Mar 2013, 10:56 am

In the build up to the game last week there was an article about the preparation in the England dressing room ahead of the match. One of the comments was about how the props often need 2 or 3 coaches to pull their shirts on for them as they are that tight. Surely, as doddieman says, that makes it nigh on impossible to bind properly.

Scrums are meant to be a way to restart the game but are now deciding an awful lot of games. Scrums on a surface as bad as the one in Paris make a mockery of the thing and they need to look at it and sort it out. If every line out was having to be retaken 2 or 3 times and then resulting in a penalty or free kick I'm sure they would do something about it - not sure why the reluctance to do something about the scrum.

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Post by Biltong Wed 20 Mar 2013, 11:01 am

There was something I noticed on the Wales vs England game at scrum time.

Not sure if anyone else here are front rowers

When I played rugby Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back when, as a loosehead you would bind on the shorts of your hooker, in other words you would hook your thumb onto the side of his shorts and that way your binding of the hips were very tight with your hooker.

The props on the weekend bound over the back (lats) of the hooker, now for me that is an indication as to why the props are scrummed inwards when the tight head pushes in.

Just an observation.
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Post by englandglory4ever Wed 20 Mar 2013, 11:04 am

Scrums are clearly being used as a tool to get free kicks and penalties. It's very obvious and easy to fix. We only need one law. Ie fk for early engage. After that nothing. Just keep resetting until the packs get tired of them.

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Post by red_stag Wed 20 Mar 2013, 11:08 am

englandglory4ever wrote:Scrums are clearly being used as a tool to get free kicks and penalties. It's very obvious and easy to fix. We only need one law. Ie fk for early engage. After that nothing. Just keep resetting until the packs get tired of them.

Agree with this. Teams don't want clean ball at a scrum. They want a penalty.
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Post by Guest Wed 20 Mar 2013, 11:14 am

Biltong wrote:There was something I noticed on the Wales vs England game at scrum time.

Not sure if anyone else here are front rowers

When I played rugby Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back when, as a loosehead you would bind on the shorts of your hooker, in other words you would hook your thumb onto the side of his shorts and that way your binding of the hips were very tight with your hooker.

The props on the weekend bound over the back (lats) of the hooker, now for me that is an indication as to why the props are scrummed inwards when the tight head pushes in.

Just an observation.

It gets taught a lot, I guess it's so then you're binding in the direction you want to push, but I can't remember exactly. You also get taught to put your tongue into the roof of your mouth to engage more muscles for pushing. Unfortunately I never remember that.

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Post by Portnoy's Complaint Wed 20 Mar 2013, 11:21 am

When I played rugby Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back when, as a loosehead you would bind on the shorts of your hooker, in other words you would hook your thumb onto the side of his shorts and that way your binding of the hips were very tight with your hooker.
i.e you cheated Biltong. No surprise there from a Saffer though.

I think (and have for years ) that its Law 4 that should be modified. Props (or every player's) shirts should allow an appropriate bind.

And the whole rule book needs a complete overhaul for simplification to make it all easier for stakeholders to have a clue what's going on.

[ed] I used to slip my bind as a hooker to get a better chance of striking the ball - but at my lowly club level I had a rock at loose head and a tight head with an hydraulic spine who could adjust the opposition front row to my satisfaction.

[ed2] Hookers always cheat. Especially if they have to hook the ball.
If I'd have had decent refs, I'd never have taken so many strikes against the head.

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