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#41 Exiled Rhino

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 08:07 AM

QUOTE (TheObserver @ Aug 26 2010, 07:40 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In a Melbourne - Manly game in April, Storm/NZ Kiwis prop Adam Blair packed down at hooker, with Storm/Aus Kangaroos hooker/dummy half Cameron Smith packing down at lock, and passing off the scrum as if it were the base of the ruck or a PTB. Fullback Billy Slater packed in at 13 as well. The dummy-half packing in at loose forward occurs frequently in the NRL.


This presents a tactical opportunity for the opposition to push in the scrum and win the ball, or at least disrupt the feeding/attacking side.

There is no law of "uncontested scrums" in RL, it is simply how tactics have developed - primarily driven by the conservation of energy as the feed has been allowed to move back to the second row.

Forcing the feed back in the middle of the scrum would just mean teams started pushing again - and still the feeding team would win the ball almost every time as they would cancel each other out, just at a greater energy cost.

This scenario might lead to a change in forwards' skill sets towards pushing and heaving, and away from smashing the ball up and smashing the ball carrier.

As a spectator I would not welcome this as I much prefer the smashing to the heaving!


#42 Lobbygobbler

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 09:59 AM

QUOTE (TheObserver @ Aug 26 2010, 07:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I agree with BobRock's comments (cool username BTW).

Competitive/contested scrummaging added another dimension of competition to the game of Rugby League, and made the game more varied and less one-dimensional. Not only that, but the physical demands of scrummaging on the upper body created increased size and different shape for forwards, especially frontrowers i.e. created a difference between forwards and backs. According to neurological and spinal surgeon Dr Robert Bray (at 2:18), a contested scrum can generate up to 1.5 tonnes of Force.

The elimination of the scrum contest removed the need for that upper body bulk. it meant that front and backrowers could slim down to become more athletic and thus focus solely on ball carrying and getting around the field. As a result, there isn't much difference in size and shape between forwards and three quarters. Therefore, little playmakers struggled to unlock defensive lines through passing and playmaking skill, and rulemakers have continually tinkered with ruck/play the ball speed and interchange which ultimately hasn't addressed it. The game can be based on the speed of the carry, the speed of play-the-balls, and exploiting a backpedalling defence rather than unlocking it.

Contested scrums in RL would not have to be like messily packed, ill disciplined 70s/80s scrums. RL forwards could be more mobile than some of larger, bulkier Union props or locks. Some Union forwards are still dynamic ball carriers, like Wallaby prop Benn Robinson (1:19, hooker Tatafu Polota Nau (from 1:50, his runs are shown), Springbok loosehead Beast Mtawarira (0:17, 43m line break), hooker Bismarck Du Plessis, number 8 backrowers Pierre Spies (from 1:50, 70m try) and Ryan Kankowski (58m try).

Contesting scrums also won't necessarily mean higher penalty counts. Last year, RL's 3N Kangaroos Kiwis test yielded 20 penalties. The Wallabies All Blacks match in Tokyo yielded 23 penalties, a mere 3 more (plus 3 short arm penalties). Scrum infringements in RL could be dealt with by a differential penalty (IIRC NZ referee Dave Pakieto gave one in an Kangaroos GB test in the Tri Nations 1999 in Brisbane), as SANZAR Rugby Union tried in the Experimental Law Variations of 2007-2008 with short arm penalties for most offences.

When it comes to ball time in play, the number of sets of six, and the number of tries scored in a match, quantity doesn't necessarily equal quality.


Good Post

I actually preferred watching RL when we had competitive scrums

#43 tommyvoll

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 05:03 PM

Just a few comments over the range of issues in these posts. As a former Union referee with the Liverpool and Buckinghamshire societies I would suggest from many years of close observation that if a Union scrum is set and played to the Laws then nuances and delicacies do not exist. They only come into play as techniques for cheating, e.g. boring in, shoulders below hips, incorrect binding etc.
Can we get past the hoary old chestnut of five drives and a kick which can occur early in games as forwards test each other out, but is by no means the norm for 80 mins. We might have to start considering the scenario: messy ruck - pick and drive half a metre; messy ruck - pick and drive half a metre and so on. Yes, I know, you're sucking in players to make space for the backs. Unfortunately, so many teams put as few players into the ruck as possible which is why this 'technique' seems to occupy such a lot of game time.

Back to the original post. What is disappointing in RL is that with the space created by the scrum there is so little invention in the back play when the ball emerges. More often than not the first outside back to receive the ball gets tackled and we are back to square one. Other than the occasional inventive kick little creative happens. I think this is largely down to the coaches, but a contributory factor is that the loose forwards are not being penalised for breaking early and they are in the stand-offs face long before they should be.

#44 TonyM19

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 05:57 PM

QUOTE (Northern Sol @ Aug 23 2010, 09:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
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.


I always think of it as more like a throw in in soccer. You made a mistake, don't expect to get the ball back at the restart


#45 dkw

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 06:02 PM

QUOTE (TonyM19 @ Aug 26 2010, 06:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I always think of it as more like a throw in in soccer. You made a mistake, don't expect to get the ball back at the restart

Thats actually a very good analogy.

#46 HappyDave

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 11:17 PM

QUOTE (Shadow @ Aug 25 2010, 09:09 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Here's a useful reminder


laugh.gif

Sorry, I know we're not meant to talk about *ahem* but one thing I don't get is why *ahem* refs sometimes seem to take so long to tell the players to engage after telling them to pause the players seem to be really off-balance & the #### collapses?...

Anyway, can't contested scums lead to broken necks, spinal injuries & other injuries? Plus resetting it once is fair enough in non-contested but more than once is a bit OTT & slows the game down too much.

The likes of Graham may not be as big as the old skool Props like Morley but he's still a really big bloke and a 'tough cookie' but not a thug & I wouldn't say there are ANY 'small' Props in Pro RL.
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#47 RL1908.com

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 11:55 PM

QUOTE (Exiled Rhino @ Aug 26 2010, 08:07 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There is no law of "uncontested scrums" in RL, it is simply how tactics have developed - primarily driven by the conservation of energy as the feed has been allowed to move back to the second row.


There's not, but (sadly) in the NRL, rarely will a referee not re-set a scrum if the ball should suddenly emerge from the non-feeding team's side of the scrum.

One of the other trends that has emerged in the NRL is that the defending pack ('pack' being a misnomer) does not even bind to each other - allowing them to break away quicker and negate any opposition attack - another reason attacking teams simply opt for the free 10m on offer from the five-eigth (well, a 2nd rower standing at five-eighth).

Roy Masters wrote an interesting article on scrums earlier this year:
"Purists rejoice at the exciting return of scrum moves"

A positive evolution of the scrum 'contest' arose in Rd 3 (Raiders v Eels) of 2009, but was nullified by a video referee disallowing it...
QUOTE
Rd 3 Raiders v Eels

Had To Be Seen To Be Believed… The Green Machine wound back the clock with a sensational scrum play that would have brought six points if not for a minor amount of overzealousness from Raiders hooker Stuart Flanagan.

Packing down near halfway, winger Carney moved into the lock forward position and when the ball appeared the Canberra boys split the scrum, sending Carney streaking through the guts of the two packs all the way to the try line. On referral to the video referee it became apparent the move was almost executed perfectly – almost. Except Flanagan had clearly held on to his opposite number – unnecessarily, but illegally nonetheless. The try was denied.


Not sure if this Bigpond video will work outside Aust, but you can see the above scrum move in the first minute of this short highlights clip: http://bigpondvideo.com/nrl/113351
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#48 dallymessenger

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 04:56 AM

QUOTE (tommyvoll @ Aug 26 2010, 05:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Just a few comments over the range of issues in these posts. As a former Union referee with the Liverpool and Buckinghamshire societies I would suggest from many years of close observation that if a Union scrum is set and played to the Laws then nuances and delicacies do not exist. They only come into play as techniques for cheating, e.g. boring in, shoulders below hips, incorrect binding etc.
Can we get past the hoary old chestnut of five drives and a kick which can occur early in games as forwards test each other out, but is by no means the norm for 80 mins. We might have to start considering the scenario: messy ruck - pick and drive half a metre; messy ruck - pick and drive half a metre and so on. Yes, I know, you're sucking in players to make space for the backs. Unfortunately, so many teams put as few players into the ruck as possible which is why this 'technique' seems to occupy such a lot of game time.

Back to the original post. What is disappointing in RL is that with the space created by the scrum there is so little invention in the back play when the ball emerges. More often than not the first outside back to receive the ball gets tackled and we are back to square one. Other than the occasional inventive kick little creative happens. I think this is largely down to the coaches, but a contributory factor is that the loose forwards are not being penalised for breaking early and they are in the stand-offs face long before they should be.


enjoyed reading that post

#49 foozler

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 08:46 AM

One thing is for certain, in the modern game the scrum can still be a useful weapon, provided a coach knows how to best use it. I for one would like to see more use made of it, just as much more use could be made of the 40/20.




#50 Wolford6

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 09:46 AM

I've played in the front row in both amateur codes.

When I played RL, during the contested scrum era, the standard scrum involved Team A feeding the scrum with the Team B hooker nearer to the feed than the Team A hooker. The (illegal) objective of the Team A front row was to occasionally (so as not to be constantly penalised) "pinch" the oppostion head by not meshing heads properly and leaving the Team A hooker nearest the feed ... giving almost certain possession. The result; much nutting and retribution with too many weak referees turning a blind eye. Many promising young players were getting bullied and quit the game for soccer or for no other sporting involvement.

In RU, the feeding team always has the head, with Team A feeing the scrum with the Team A hooker nearer to the feed than the Team B hooker, and maintaining almost certain possession. The common way for Team B to disrupt this possession was by nutting the Team A front row at the point of engagement, plus illegal binding and boring to subject the Team A hooker to body-torsion. Many promising young players were getting bullied and quit the game for soccer or for no other sporting involvement. There was also the risk of serious injury


Both RL and RU addressed the issue of losing players ... the RL by going to uncontested scrums, the RU by controlling the point of engagement and banning low-level scrumming.

However, by retaining "proper" scrummaging, the RU has maintained the primary purpose of the scrum which is not (as in RL) merely to restart the game after an infringement, but is also to provide a trial of strength and technique between two organised packs of forwards. A tired pack enables backs to see more ball and to run in less-contested space.

I prefer to watch RL but, by God, I loved those RU scrums.

Edited by Wolford6, 27 August 2010 - 09:49 AM.

Under Scrutiny by the Right-On Thought Police


#51 TheObserver

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 12:03 AM

QUOTE (Exiled Rhino @ Aug 26 2010, 06:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There is no law of "uncontested scrums" in RL, it is simply how tactics have developed - primarily driven by the conservation of energy as the feed has been allowed to move back to the second row.


There may be no law against pushing, but as RL1908 said, referees discourage it. In the Four Nations last year, referees were telling forwards not to push in the scrum.

Emasculation of the scrum continues in the NRL. In last nights R25 clash between Souths and Parramatta, Souths had the scrum feed, using lock Jamie Clark at hooker, with Isaac Luke clearing the ball from lock. Parramatta fullback Jarryd Hayne packed in at lock in that defensive scrum. In the Broncos/Warriors game, on a number of occasions, Warriors dummy-half Aaron Heremaia packed in at the back, lock Simon Mannering packed at hooker. Sometimes fullback Lance Hohaia packed in at lock in defence. Broncos centre Alex Glenn packed in at lock several times. In last week's R24 Manly/Warriors clash, Hohaia packed in at lock several times. There was at least one scrum reset (at 62nd minute). The Bulldogs/Roosters game saw Jared Warea-Hargreaves pack at hooker, with fullback Anthony Minichiello packing at lock in at least two scrums. Roosters centre Shaun Kenny-Dowell and Bulldogs fullback Luke Patten packed in as locks at another.

I wouldn't mind the tactic of the dummy-half packing at the back, if he were there because the pack had to push.

QUOTE
Forcing the feed back in the middle of the scrum would just mean teams started pushing again - and still the feeding team would win the ball almost every time as they would cancel each other out, just at a greater energy cost.


Perhaps. However there might still need to be a dramatic change in the game's approach towards the scrum - if referees gave more differential penalties at the scrum, it might encourage teams to push properly.

QUOTE
This scenario might lead to a change in forwards' skill sets towards pushing and heaving, and away from smashing the ball up and smashing the ball carrier.


Not necessarily, in Southern Hemisphere RU, players still put big hits on in defence. There's just more of a mix.

#52 TheObserver

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 12:23 AM

An interesting point about scrums that was made elsewhere:

QUOTE ("on removing competitive scrums")
If you do away with competitive scrums then you do away with scrum specialists which in turn just means you get at least 4 or 6 more flanker/centre types out on the pitch instead of props and hookers. Having men on the pitch who need to be heavy with extreme isometric strength provides opportunities for mismatches out in open play whereas if you choose to eschew good scrummaging props for mobility then you will get screwed in the competitive scrum. It is something that you just don't see any more in RL as most of the forwards are indistinguishable from most of the backs.


QUOTE (HappyDave @ Aug 27 2010, 09:17 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Anyway, can't contested scums lead to broken necks, spinal injuries & other injuries?


There is a risk, mainly from the hit/engage between front rows, and a return to competitive scrums could minimise that risk by not using a hit to bring front rows together. However, there is significant risk of serious injury (including to neck and spine) in regular collisions and tackles in general play.



#53 dallymessenger

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 06:19 AM

i switched on a French Top 14 game last night

first thing i saw was a contested scrum

lots of heaving, the ball went with the feed

the other team then screwed the scrum more than 90 degrees

the ref then blew a penalty

at which point i remember why i hated contested scrums and changed the channel

#54 bobrock

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 06:54 AM

So you watch a lot of rugby union even if you hate it. Everybody here believes to know Union even better than League, but they clearly don't. You didn't even know that the scrum setting is shaped in 4 movements.

#55 tommyvoll

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 08:19 AM

I will watch a lot of Union, as well as League, and I don't hate it, but this myth that from the terraces/stands you can see what's going on in scrum is nonsense. I suspect that this claim that somehow it makes you intellectually superior because you are a purist with an appreciation of the finer points is simply petty snobbery.
In particular, I love watching the All Blacks and the French with their superb handling skills and invention, but get frustrated not by a scrum competition but by the endless resetting of the scrums because cheating is endemic. Mind you, it was Austin Healey who said, in the Daily Telegraph, "Rugby Union is about who cheats best."

#56 ckn

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 08:45 AM

Enough with the union stuff. This is not the forum for discussing how fat lads keep warm in the winter.

Arguing with the forum trolls is like playing chess with a pigeon.  No matter how good you are, the bird will **** on the board and strut around like it won anyway


#57 HappyDave

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 11:32 AM

QUOTE (ckn @ Aug 28 2010, 09:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Enough with the union stuff. This is not the forum for discussing how fat lads keep warm in the winter.


laugh.gif

Yep, back to discussing RL scrums.

I don't have a problem with uncontested scrums but I think there is probably a better way to reset play even if it was just resetting their defensive line & 'tap & run' rather than a scrum.

Edited by HappyDave, 28 August 2010 - 11:35 AM.

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#58 Lobbygobbler

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Posted 01 September 2010 - 11:58 AM

QUOTE (TonyM19 @ Aug 26 2010, 06:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I always think of it as more like a throw in in soccer. You made a mistake, don't expect to get the ball back at the restart


A touchfinder which bounces before finding touch (and which is not a 40/20) is not a mistake, whereas a knock-on is. I would like to see turnovers for knock-ons and other mistakes, and contested scrums for touchfinders/bouncing in touch. This would considerably reduce the number of scrums and probably remove scrum speciality




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