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Scrum


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#1 dreamcatcher37

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 07:31 PM

Hi All,

Pretty new here so please be gentle! I have recentley become a fan of RL and as Warrington is the closest ground to Stoke, naturally that is where I go when I can.

I do have a question to ask, why do they bother with the scrum? I have followed RU for many years and a scrum in Union is contested whereas in League it seems to be just a symbolic gesture.

Thanks for your help.

ps. hope this is the right place to post this mellow.gif

Edited by dreamcatcher37, 21 August 2010 - 07:32 PM.


#2 deluded pom?

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 07:53 PM

QUOTE (dreamcatcher37 @ Aug 21 2010, 08:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I do have a question to ask, why do they bother with the scrum? I have followed RU for many years and a scrum in Union is contested whereas in League it seems to be just a symbolic gesture.



First off, welcome to rugby league. Second, IS the scrum in rugby union contested? They may huff and puf alot but how often ,if ever, is there a win agaisnt the head and ball? Thirdly, yes the RL scrum is mainly symbolic with both teams knowing the outcome 99.9% of the time. It gets the forwards out of the way for a few seconds when hopefully the backs can get a chance to shine. The old contested scrums just had so many penalty possibilities that they became an embarrassment and a waste of the spectator's money. It wasn't unusual to see the scrum reset up to three or four times or more before the ref was satisfied a penalty hadn't been committed. At least now, the scrum is rarely penalised because both teams know the result before the ball is put in and set their lineups accordingly.

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#3 dreamcatcher37

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 08:09 PM

QUOTE (deluded pom? @ Aug 21 2010, 08:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
First off, welcome to rugby league. Second, IS the scrum in rugby union contested? They may huff and puf alot but how often ,if ever, is there a win agaisnt the head and ball? Thirdly, yes the RL scrum is mainly symbolic with both teams knowing the outcome 99.9% of the time. It gets the forwards out of the way for a few seconds when hopefully the backs can get a chance to shine. The old contested scrums just had so many penalty possibilities that they became an embarrassment and a waste of the spectator's money. It wasn't unusual to see the scrum reset up to three or four times or more before the ref was satisfied a penalty hadn't been committed. At least now, the scrum is rarely penalised because both teams know the result before the ball is put in and set their lineups accordingly.


Thanks DP, I do enjoy the fast pace of the game and now understand that a "contested" scrum would slow things down.


#4 zorquif

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 09:07 AM

on a slightly related point;

the totally uncompetitve aspect of the scrum allows the defensive team to put some of their weaker tackling backs into the scrum. this season, i have reasonably often seen props and second rows lining up in the stand off/centre positions at scrums. does that not negate the point entirely?

#5 dkw

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 11:27 AM

QUOTE (zorquif @ Aug 22 2010, 10:07 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
on a slightly related point;

the totally uncompetitve aspect of the scrum allows the defensive team to put some of their weaker tackling backs into the scrum. this season, i have reasonably often seen props and second rows lining up in the stand off/centre positions at scrums. does that not negate the point entirely?

This has been annoying me for a while now, its only a matter of time until the attacking and defensive line has 3 or 4 forwards and the scrum is built with 3/4`s. Not sure how it could be changed though, teams dont have to play specific players in a scrum.

#6 Griff9of13

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 11:37 AM

QUOTE (dkw @ Aug 22 2010, 12:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This has been annoying me for a while now, its only a matter of time until the attacking and defensive line has 3 or 4 forwards and the scrum is built with 3/4`s. Not sure how it could be changed though, teams dont have to play specific players in a scrum.

Not competing at the scrum is a sort of gentleman's agreement & not officialy in the rules. Therefore to negate the above one side only need spot what is happening & put their big guys back in & push the opposition pack full of backs off the ball.
"it is a well known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it."

#7 zorquif

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 12:27 PM

QUOTE (Griff9of13 @ Aug 22 2010, 01:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Not competing at the scrum is a sort of gentleman's agreement & not officialy in the rules. Therefore to negate the above one side only need spot what is happening & put their big guys back in & push the opposition pack full of backs off the ball.



Problem with that is where the ball goes in and how much it is fed. you would have to time the push perfectly to knock them off the ball. i think that something like having to put the ball in the tunnel but only one hooker is allowed to strike would be the way forward. either that or nominate the players that are allowed in the scrum before the game, although that might be a mare for the ref

#8 dallymessenger

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 01:44 PM

QUOTE (dreamcatcher37 @ Aug 21 2010, 07:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi All,

Pretty new here so please be gentle! I have recentley become a fan of RL and as Warrington is the closest ground to Stoke, naturally that is where I go when I can.

I do have a question to ask, why do they bother with the scrum? I have followed RU for many years and a scrum in Union is contested whereas in League it seems to be just a symbolic gesture.

Thanks for your help.

ps. hope this is the right place to post this mellow.gif


RL unlike RU has taken away most contests for the ball, the reason being as these resulted in many penalties and stopped the flow of the game

rather than focus on meaningless contests for the ball which are messy, the game is opened up to allow for more open play ie backs running the ball

in RL we want the referree to have as little impact as possible, so the less opportunities for penalties the better

also contested scrums increase the risk of neck injuries, so weve made the game safer

Edited by dallymessenger, 22 August 2010 - 01:46 PM.


#9 WearyRhino

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 04:00 PM

QUOTE (dkw @ Aug 22 2010, 12:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This has been annoying me for a while now, its only a matter of time until the attacking and defensive line has 3 or 4 forwards and the scrum is built with 3/4`s. Not sure how it could be changed though, teams dont have to play specific players in a scrum.


Also, surely the likes of Rob Burrow relish the opportunity of running around and under less mobile props and 2nd rowers. I think it has limited application. Moreover, if a back cannot tackle he shouldn't be on the field of play anyway.

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#10 deluded pom?

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 09:39 AM

QUOTE (zorquif @ Aug 22 2010, 01:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Problem with that is where the ball goes in and how much it is fed. you would have to time the push perfectly to knock them off the ball. i think that something like having to put the ball in the tunnel but only one hooker is allowed to strike would be the way forward. either that or nominate the players that are allowed in the scrum before the game, although that might be a mare for the ref



And the ref would probably find some way of penalising the non feeding team anyway.

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#11 foozler

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 10:46 AM

QUOTE (zorquif @ Aug 22 2010, 01:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Problem with that is where the ball goes in and how much it is fed. you would have to time the push perfectly to knock them off the ball. i think that something like having to put the ball in the tunnel but only one hooker is allowed to strike would be the way forward. either that or nominate the players that are allowed in the scrum before the game, although that might be a mare for the ref


I've seen both Wigan and Huddersfield win a scrum against the feed this season simply by getting a decent push on. Wigan destroyed the Saints scrum at Knowsley Road, from which they won the ball and ran it a good way to the Saints try line & Huddersfield actually scored a try from the scrum they won pretty much in the dying seconds of the game.

Whilst not wanting to see the scrum descend into the RU nonsense of endless resets and then a feed into the second row, I think more can be made of the scrum situation in RL by creative coaches. Witness Huddersfield scoring against Saints in the CC Semi last year with a cross field kick straight from the scrum. We were totally not expecting it and Hudds scored an easy try.

#12 usrhlp

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 01:08 PM

Hi all,

I am new to the game (been to about 4 matches now) and to the site, due to having a job in Leeds i have been indoctrinated as a Leeds Rhinos fan...I have played union a fist full of times when i was at school but that is about all the exposure to rugby i have had. Where i am from we dont really do rugby.

With regards to the scrum question. this happened to be one of my first questions after watching league, in union at school the scrums were always contested but in league they may as well not bother. I thought this until i read someone's explanation they said the following:

"Rugby league scrums are mostly symbolic and are only used to tie up the forwards to create more space for the other players to get the ball and possibly score in. There isn't really any other reason for it other than reducing the amount of available players spread across the pitch".

Hope this helps, it made a lot of sense to me as a rugby virgin.

LEEDS FOR THE CHALLENGE CUP! biggrin.gif

#13 Exiled Rhino

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 01:27 PM

QUOTE (Griff9of13 @ Aug 22 2010, 12:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Not competing at the scrum is a sort of gentleman's agreement & not officialy in the rules. Therefore to negate the above one side only need spot what is happening & put their big guys back in & push the opposition pack full of backs off the ball.


I've seen this happen with Leeds forming a progressively lighter pack during the game. The opposition noticed and put a shove on with a full pack. Leeds then changed back to a standard pack, the shoving was even and both teams reverted to the normal uncontested lean.

It's all about energy conservation. As the default position, if both packs are the same size, it's a waste of energy pushing with the ball going in the second row.

Deviations from this such as surprise shoves and packing down with backs are available tactics that the opposition has to counter.



#14 Lobbygobbler

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 02:26 PM

QUOTE (usrhlp @ Aug 23 2010, 02:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi all,

I am new to the game (been to about 4 matches now) and to the site, due to having a job in Leeds i have been indoctrinated as a Leeds Rhinos fan...I have played union a fist full of times when i was at school but that is about all the exposure to rugby i have had. Where i am from we dont really do rugby.

With regards to the scrum question. this happened to be one of my first questions after watching league, in union at school the scrums were always contested but in league they may as well not bother. I thought this until i read someone's explanation they said the following:

"Rugby league scrums are mostly symbolic and are only used to tie up the forwards to create more space for the other players to get the ball and possibly score in. There isn't really any other reason for it other than reducing the amount of available players spread across the pitch".

Hope this helps, it made a lot of sense to me as a rugby virgin.

LEEDS FOR THE CHALLENGE CUP! biggrin.gif


Scrums in RL were contested until about 94/95 season. Also due to the greater instability of the Scrum in RL (3-2-1) prior to that, it was perhaps more messy than the RU 3-4-1 scrum (which was originally a less stable 3-2-3 In RU/NU I believe). However scrums went against the head more in RL than RU and I would argue that this made it more exciting. When I played RL second row as a youngster I did not like scrums as I always considered it to be a non-core rugby artefact, however it did tire forwards out and also added an uncertainly factor (about 20% scrums seemed to go against the head back then in RL). I would like to see it return but only in certain conditions, i.e. a grubber to touch, which would remove specialsim in rugby (i.e. fat props). I think a knock on should be a turnover

#15 CrushersForever

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 04:49 PM

QUOTE (Exiled Rhino @ Aug 23 2010, 01:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've seen this happen with Leeds forming a progressively lighter pack during the game. The opposition noticed and put a shove on with a full pack.

I'm pretty sure that North Queensland Cowboys did it a few times in one particular season, a few years back now. I remember seeing one particular example where they did it near the try line, won against the feed, and ended up scoring.

#16 bobrock

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 05:08 PM

RL fan actually miss the point when they look at how many times a union scrum goes against the head, and so claim they are not really contested. You should also look at how many penalties come out for illegal binding, or boring in, etc. All these come out because one pack can't stand the pressure, and this happen because the scrum IS contested.

#17 Dave T

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 05:12 PM

QUOTE (bobrock @ Aug 23 2010, 06:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
RL fan actually miss the point when they look at how many times a union scrum goes against the head, and so claim they are not really contested. You should also look at how many penalties come out for illegal binding, or boring in, etc. All these come out because one pack can't stand the pressure, and this happen because the scrum IS contested.

No, most RL fans actually do understand this, and the sheer number of penalties in Union is one of the major issues RL fans have with Union. Penalties lead to more scrums, which lead to penalty tries, or kicks at goal, and that just isn't Rugby.

A succesful scrum should surely be all about restaring the play, not getting a penalty!

#18 dkw

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 05:17 PM

QUOTE (Dave T @ Aug 23 2010, 06:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
A succesful scrum should surely be all about restaring the play, not getting a penalty!

Exactly, surely a scrum is just a means of restarting the game and the fact we got rid of it years ago has been proven to be correct.

#19 Northern Sol

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 08:28 PM

QUOTE (dkw @ Aug 23 2010, 06:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Exactly, surely a scrum is just a means of restarting the game and the fact we got rid of it years ago has been proven to be correct.


Precisely.

Scrums are supposed to be like a drop ball in soccer; not just a means of restarting the game but a means that is fair to both sides. They are not remotely fair in rugby union and probably haven't been for more than a century.

If they can't be done fairly then there isn't a great deal of point pretending that there is a contest. Having said that I don't mind watching union scrums but they don't really "work" in rugby league - rugby league is about scoring tries, running and tackling not set piece forward play.

Edited by Northern Sol, 23 August 2010 - 08:29 PM.


#20 bobrock

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 02:46 PM

So RL fans seem to know what a union scrum should be like. That's interesting, given the fact that usually they call it boring and slow and so on, it seems they whatch it carefully.
A union scrum is NOT just a way to restart the game. Is a game moment when the ball is contestable by both teams, and the advantage of feeding the ball should be little enough to ensure that. If referees don't pay enough attention on this, that's just a case of bad refereeing one part of the game, not the denial of the purpose of playing a scrum.
If one team cheats in the scrum to mask its weakness is a very good thing that free kicks and penalties come out to punish them.
If you don't like that, fair enough. Rugby League has chosed a different path from union and you are apparently happy about that, but let union play as they like it.




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