Richard Ferguson

Bring back the real scrum

Written by Richard Ferguson (Richard Ferguson)

Posted in :Original Content, Super Rugby on 4 Mar 2013 at 12:03
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

Scrumming in rugby continues to be one of the most penalised areas in the game, just behind the awful breakdown rules. But do we really need scrums?

The engagement rules and calls have changed so many times in the last few years, and I will not be surprised if they change again. The one thing that seems to fly under the radar is the simple inserting of the ball.

When last did you see a referee penalise a scrumhalf for not putting the ball straight into a scrum, yet every scrum I saw this weekend had a scrumhalf practically put the ball underneath the hooker’s feet.

If this law is applied by referees, will that not have a beneficial effect on the scrum?

Currently, the referees are so concerned with the engagement at scrum time and the height of the prop’s shoulders that he doesn’t even see the ball go into the scrum? The front row is so involved in getting the three phrase engagement call right that they don’t even bother to try and hook the ball from the other team.

At the end of the day, if a scrum is successful in staying up, the team that put the ball in with always have the ball. Is this a contestable set piece? We still see opposition jumpers in a lineout, but the scrum is a one dimensional break in play that, in my opinion, should be scrapped.

When a scrum is to be awarded, we might as well give the team in question a free kick. It will be in line with the IRB’s ‘speeding up the game’ policy and we will not have to sit through countless minutes wasted while the scrums collapse.

Either make the scrum a contestable set piece, or just leave it altogether.


  • good point Rich!

  • Comment 1, posted at 04.03.13 12:03:55 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 1) :

    Just a bit of a rant!

  • Comment 2, posted at 04.03.13 12:05:20 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • @Richard Ferguson (Comment 2) : We noticed :mrgreen:

  • Comment 3, posted at 04.03.13 12:14:51 by sharks_lover Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • Jafta did penalise the Force for the scew throw-in which eventually led to the Bulls bonus point try. That ball was actually thrown in under the 8th man’s feet.

  • Comment 4, posted at 04.03.13 12:18:18 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • I blame the current condition of the scrum squarely on the Ozzies, particularly O’Neil who had to do everything in his power to keep rugby alive in Oz.

    Oz can’t scrum, they don’t bother to learn the art. I remember not so long ago where just about every scrum against the Wallabies either collapsed or they forced the penalty through illegal scrumming technique.

  • Comment 5, posted at 04.03.13 12:18:31 by FireTheLooser Reply

  • I just don’t see the logic..

    A lineout throw which goes over the opposition players is deemed not straight, even if it was beficial to the opposing team, who would have won the ball had they competed?

    But a ball roll into the back of the scrum and it is deemed a contestable set piece? Rubbish!

  • Comment 6, posted at 04.03.13 12:19:11 by Richard Ferguson Reply
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    Richard Ferguson
  • The putting in of the ball at the scrum is a big issue. Another issue is that the props have nothing to bind on, that why so many scrums collapse. And these new age moffie jerseys are to blame for that. Gone is the days when you could grab a handfull of jersey and not lose your bind

  • Comment 7, posted at 04.03.13 12:26:06 by KingRiaan Reply

  • I recently watched the Sharks vs Lions Currie Cup Final from 1992, and the engagement was much simpler with almost no resets. The front rows engage, not hit, and then they shove and the scrummy puts the ball in. This would still ensure a competition and would, I feel, see less scrum resets.

  • Comment 8, posted at 04.03.13 13:46:53 by StevieS Reply
  • @KingRiaan (Comment 7) : Absolutely correct. Been like that for years now. If they are going to wear skin tight jerseys then they should have handles sewn into them for scrumming.

  • Comment 9, posted at 04.03.13 14:48:54 by Caratacus Reply

  • I hear what you are saying Rich. The focus on the scrums and specificaly on the props are so huge the scrummie can pass the ball directly to the Flyhalf and the ref would not notice it. And donlt even get me going on how each ref blows the scrums differently… 👿

  • Comment 10, posted at 04.03.13 15:03:48 by Viking Reply
  • @FireTheLooser (Comment 5) : It pisses me off how OZ is swinging everything about the game to save their rugby…That includes the stupid conference system and how the Brumbies will most probably top the overall log this year just because of the weak teams in Aus….

    Okay, thats my rant for the day…

  • Comment 11, posted at 04.03.13 15:06:36 by Viking Reply
  • The thing that I dont understand about the scrum is, what is so bad in allowing the props to stabilise the scrum by putting their hands on the ground, instead they get penalised, but if they are all allowed to do it, we should have few if any reset scrums….

  • Comment 12, posted at 04.03.13 19:17:23 by SharkED Reply

  • What is very frustrating for me, is when the DOMINANT scrum gets penalised…
    The guys work hard to get the upper hand, but are penalised for the effort.
    Agree that sometimes it might be illegal scrummaging, but in most cases it is just raw power.

  • Comment 13, posted at 05.03.13 07:58:24 by SharksRTB Reply

  • @Caratacus (Comment 9) : That was my thoughts as well.

  • Comment 14, posted at 05.03.13 08:51:17 by KingRiaan Reply


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