Thursday, 31 May 2012

Tinkering is not the answer

A bit late with this one, but it seems as if the IRB have, after all, sanctioned a trial change to the scrummaging laws. Instead of the much maligned "Crouch, Touch, Pause, Ennnnnnnnn.....gage" we now have a new law 20.1 (g) which reads:
The referee will call “crouch” then “touch”. The front rows crouch and using their outside arm each prop touches the point of the opposing prop’s outside shoulder. The props then withdraw their arms. The referee will then call “set” when the front rows are ready. The front rows may then engage. The “set” call is not a command but an indication that the front rows may come together when ready.

Is that really the best that the IRB's Scrum Steering Group can come up with?

Apparently this has been successfully trialled at student level at Stellenbosch and Cambridge but this rather misses the point. It's at the elite level that the problem exists - where winning the "hit" is everything - and simply removing the 'pause' instruction will do nothing to change this.

I'm with Brian Moore on this one. Tinkering is not the solution. To cure rugby's scrummaging ills all one needs to do is apply the existing laws i.e. insist on a correct bind and go back to penalising the early shove and the crooked feed.



Phil @ Dumptackle said...

I don't think the ridiculously tight shirts help the bind either!

What do you make of the 5 second rule?

I wrote a post on the law changes a few weeks ago.

Total Flanker said...

Re 5 second rule, as mentioned in previous post I reckon it will lead to different interpretations by refs as to when ball is "available”.

Again the answer must be to rigorously apply current laws and penalise teams for going off their feet, sealing off etc.

The laws are fine, they're just not being applied.

James Franco said...

Crouch, Touch, Set = Ready, Steady, Go in a Prop's head.
Wont really fix a problem that doesnt exist anywhere outside of the elite game.
Sledgehammer, Walnut spring to mind?