If this year’s 6 Nations is anything to go by, scrummaging at the elite level - under this year’s “crouch, touch, set” protocol - is now even more of a farce than under the previous discredited “crouch, touch, pause…wait for it…wait for it… ennnnnnngage” sequence.
Referees seem overly keen to penalise any early engagement
and yet appear to have no problem whatsoever with allowing a team to get the
shove on way before the ball is fed into the scrum.
So, engaging a split second before the “set” command is penalised
and yet driving immediately on impact, with the ball still in the scrum half’s
hands, is ignored. Scotland, in particular were stitched up like a kipper by Mr
Joubert on Saturday - damned if they shoved and damned if they didn’t.
Here’s a radical idea. Why don’t the IRB form a working
party of international front row forwards from both hemispheres and lock them
in a room with no access to food until they come up with a solution. I reckon it’d
take about 5 minutes.
Or, better still, just apply the existing laws...