Scrum feed changes again

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :In the news, Original Content on 7 Jan 2014 at 10:22
Tagged with : , ,

Someone at the IRB has clearly been reading the Harry Potter books, as the somewhat silly “yes, nine” referee instruction, indicating that a scrumhalf should feed a stable scrum, is to be axed in favour of a “non-verbal signal”.

This change, according to Planet Rugby, will come into effect immediately, across all levels of the game. The signal to be used will be agreed ahead of time by the ref and the two (or four?) scrumhalves and will take the form of a tap, nod or (in the case of Nigel Owens) wink. The idea, I guess, is to avoid giving the opposition pack a clear heads-up that the ball is about to be fed, which those in the know consider to be a serious lessening of the advantage that a scrum feed is meant to provide.

The onus will still be on both referee and scrumhalves, though, to ensure a steady and stable scrum prior to the feed, thus a scrumhalf can be penalised for feeding prior to this “signal”. Let’s hope that sanity prevails and that refs and players alike quickly agree and standardise on a clear, unambiguous instruction to avoid any confusion.


  • A referee with a nervous twitch or itchy nose could make for some fun times :mrgreen:

  • Comment 1, posted at 07.01.14 11:00:20 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • @vanmartin (Comment 1) : precisely!

    Problem with this is that the ref’s signal is obviously going to be immediately visible to both scrumhalves…. how do you stop the opposing scrumhalf passing the signal on to his own pack? I mean, he could develop a sudden annoying cough, right?

  • Comment 2, posted at 07.01.14 11:45:34 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • They should have rather have the ref make sure that the scrum is stable, then with a simple ”yes” etc indicate that the ball may now be played. A time frame of 10/20 seconds should then be allowed in which the hooker must indicate to the scrummie to feed the ball. Thus even though you know the scrumhalf is going to feed the ball, your timing on the counter will be much more difficult.

  • Comment 3, posted at 07.01.14 12:20:28 by KingRiaan Reply

  • @KingRiaan (Comment 3) : Yes, this sounds like a better solution…
    As we all know what is going to happen this year… some scrummies are going to get told that the ref never gave him the signal that they agreed upon!
    Look I’m not saying that all refs are like that! But you can see this coming a mile away!

  • Comment 4, posted at 07.01.14 12:42:02 by R Hayward Reply

  • @KingRiaan (Comment 3) : the problem with this is that the scrum can easily become unstable in that time and then the ref has to stop it and every one will moan about the number of reset scrims, yes it will be difficult to stop the opposition scrum half to give his players the signal but it is the best they can do now.

  • Comment 5, posted at 07.01.14 12:56:53 by BR Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • To be honest I don’t know why they want to hide the signal the opposition scrum half can always see when the scrum half is going to throw the ball in

  • Comment 6, posted at 07.01.14 13:01:51 by BR Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • Maybe it’s time to do away with the scrum and just let the two hookers fight it out for the ball – 30 seconds, no holds barred. As long as Bissie starts we’ll never lose a ball again. 😀

  • Comment 7, posted at 07.01.14 14:38:21 by vanmartin Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Maybe the responsibility of judging when the scrum is stable should be shifted to the scrummie, if he puts it in when its not … free kick??

    Otherwise I would say 5 seconds for the scrummy to put it in. If the scrum aren’t stable for at least 5 to 10 seconds, it wasn’t going to hold very long after that anyway.

  • Comment 8, posted at 07.01.14 15:27:12 by Letgo Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Where can I buy the Sharks jersey online? Please guys!

  • Comment 9, posted at 07.01.14 16:58:42 by Southern_Shark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @Southern_Shark (Comment 9) : hi – welcome to the site.

    apparently it will be available generally on 20 Jan. I assume this means you can buy it online from then too.

  • Comment 10, posted at 07.01.14 17:00:17 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 10) : Awesome, thanks.

  • Comment 11, posted at 07.01.14 17:06:02 by Southern_Shark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • Well it was a stupid rule anyway.

    The whole point of having own ball scrum is for this advantage; otherwise it just becomes a game of who pushes hardest, every single scrum.

  • Comment 12, posted at 07.01.14 17:49:02 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 12) : yeah. With you

  • Comment 13, posted at 07.01.14 18:12:22 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @Letgo (Comment 8) : just remember it is difficult to keep the scrumwhile you stand still but as soon as you push it is much easier to keep the scrum up that is why it is important to get the ball in the moment the scrum is stable

  • Comment 14, posted at 07.01.14 20:57:09 by BR Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • Don’t be mad at the irb or refs be mad at the sport scientist who brought physics into the game of rugby and made a simple game so complicated

  • Comment 15, posted at 07.01.14 21:06:49 by BR Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • Back many moons ago, when I was still playing Hooker in this beautiful game, the common method was for the Hooker to give a hand signal with his left hand to the scrummie who would then feed the scrum. Now the Hooker was not going to give the hand signal unless he felt the scrum was stable enough for him to get his strike in. I get that the IRB felt it was difficult for 16 men to to stabilize a scrum without some sort of incentive, gave this determination to the ref. Fine then ref determines it is stable and states so, Hooker has 3 seconds (that’s right, I played Hooker and 3 seconds is plenty time at that point) to give the hand signal to the Scrummie. It was so simple in the past, and it worked, with a slight modification, this method could be brought back effectively. It looks like our front rowers are going to have to learn a lot of old scrumming techniques that have not been needed in decades. Personally I would like that.

  • Comment 16, posted at 07.01.14 22:56:17 by Dancing Bear Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Dancing Bear

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