Tuesday, 7 January 2014

No, nine




In another shocking display of common sense the IRB has changed the current scrummaging procedure by calling time on the referee's verbal 'Yes, Nine' instruction for the scrum half to put the ball into the scrum.

All very sensible given that the current situation undoubtedly helps the team without the put-in get ready to drive.

Instead the emphasis will switch back to the flankers screaming "READY, READY, READY NOW" much like the good old days.

What is intriguing though is that the referee will now use an as yet unspecified non-verbal means of telling the scrum half when to put the ball in - a nudge being as good as a wink to a blind man, say no more...

5 comments:

Von said...

Mr Flanker, for the first time I can remember, I find myself disagreeing with you. I think "yes nine" works perfectly well and this is just pointless tinkering. The scrumhalf still has some control of the exact timing of the put-in doesn't he? And as long as the put-in is straight(!), the defending hooker also has an incentive to get one foot ready to hook.

Apparently this ref-to-scrumhalf code is to be decided between those two individuals at the start of each game. There's going to be all kinds of silly playground games going on before you know it.

Total Flanker said...

I agree that the idea of a non-verbal signal is faintly ludicrous.

Personally I'd prefer refs to stay out of it apart from giving the scrum half the hurry-up if he's dawdling.

Von said...

Yep, we agree on that!

According to Tony Spreadbury / RFU, the sign will be a raised hand and a nod if 9 is on the far side of scrum and a tap on the back if the ref's on the put-in side.

I predict numerous fiascos of a "you had your hand up sir / no, I was scratching my face" nature.

Or on a more 1990s non-PC note, "Nigel, I can see both your hands, what are you tapping me on the back with?"

Jamie Morton said...

I'm a referee and former scrumhalf, so I feel well-justified in saying good riddance to the "Yes, nine" command. Just never felt right.

GazP said...

Always felt that the current command was confusing for all the German speaking scrum halfs.....

Is this what we are reduced to? Dictating specific words, phrases & semaphore signals to choreograph rolling a ball between 2 sets of fat blokes?

Sometimes I despair