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dreamcatcher37

Scrum

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RU Scrums are contested at every level, it is easy to see the amount of effort being put in by both packs. Whether they produce a turnover very often is a separate issue and one that also ignores the advantage a dominant scrum will give a team whether or not they win the ball against the head. Disruption or pressure on the opposition's scrum can lead to their backs being given scrappy ball and immediately being under pressure.

There may very well be a great deal of pushing and shoving, but the end result is almost always that the team with the feed gets the ball. A team without the feed in an RU scrum is much more likely to get a penalty than they are to win the ball.

And they just take so bloody long to set up...

When you think about it, RU scrums are an utter farce. They really are. I'd scrap them if I ran the show.

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one that also ignores the advantage a dominant scrum will give a team whether or not they win the ball against the head. Disruption or pressure on the opposition's scrum can lead to their backs being given scrappy ball and immediately being under pressure.

Can I just say that this is almost exactly the same issue that faces RL teams at the PTB. The defending team can cause havoc by dominating the tackle and the aftermath of it.

The difference is, of course, that the RU scrum is a thing of subtle nuance and tactical delicacy whereas the RL play the ball is just big blokes humping the ground.

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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.

Penalties are there to punish a team when they do something wrong. That suggests that every time a penalty is the outcome from a scrum, then it was wrong, as in that isn;t what was meant to happen at all.

Surely there is a flaw in the system if it is seen as a positive that penalties are given on the back of scrums. Surely that should be the minority, and it should take one time to go in and have a battle for the ball and get on with the game?

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The difference is, of course, that the RU scrum is a thing of subtle nuance and tactical delicacy whereas the RL play the ball is just big blokes humping the ground.

Your words, not mine :P

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Your words, not mine :P

It all depends on how you define 'contested'. Union scrums are more physically contested than League, but if you are talking about contesting posession, then they are pretty much the same. The times a scrum is won against the feed in either code is very rare.

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I'm afraid this is becoming more and more pointless. Resetting a scrum IS getting on with the game. The game of rugby union, where running, tackling and passing the ball is not all. And penalties are, hopefully, given everytime a rule has been broken, regardless of the moment or the position in the field of play. That's the way I like it.

I am a curious man and I enjoy learning new things. I never dare to say anything about something I don't know. I just see here many people writing about the game of rugby union ignoring the basics of the game and using their lack of knowledge to claim an "objective" superiority of rugby league. Did you ever argued whith a Canadian ice hockey fan about the value of speed in itself ? Ice hockey is much faster than rugby league.

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<hold>

<crouch>

<engage>

ref. blows whistle & scrum resets because props arm isnt bound tightly

<hold>

<crouch>

<engage?

ref blows whistle & scrum resets because scrum is screwing around

<hold>

<crouch>

<engage>

scrum resets as scrum collapses

<hold>

<crouch>

<engage>

ref blows penalty for reason unknown to all players on the field and commentators

Edited by dallymessenger

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<hold>

<crouch>

<engage>

And by the way, that sequence is wrong. It used to be crouch, hold, engage. Now it's in 4 times.

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<hold>

<crouch>

<engage>

And by the way, that sequence is wrong. It used to be crouch, hold, engage. Now it's in 4 times.

Here's a useful reminder

ctpe.jpg

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It all depends on how you define 'contested'. Union scrums are more physically contested than League, but if you are talking about contesting posession, then they are pretty much the same. The times a scrum is won against the feed in either code is very rare.

My understanding of contested = contesting possession for the ball; is that not supposed to be the primary difference between the two codes?

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For those of you who are questioning the merits of putting pressure on an opponents scrums yet not necessarily winning the ball, watch the Austrlia v England match from earlier this summer. England had a far better scrum (which was officiated correctly for a change) and were able to absolutely destroy Australia up front denying the Aussie backs good ball.

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Enough of the union stuff. Please keep the discussion within the boundaries of rugby league. I won't move the thread (for now) as the original poster wouldn't be able to access the place these discussions normally fit.

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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

(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

(1:19, hooker Tatafu Polota Nau (from 1:50, his runs are shown), Springbok loosehead
(0:17, 43m line break), hooker Bismarck Du Plessis, number 8 backrowers
(from 1:50, 70m try) and
(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.

Edited by TheObserver

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As for the issue of scrum resets, Rugby League scrums are still reset frequently due to incorrect feeds that bounce off a prop or secondrowers feet back to the scrumhalf. IMO contested scrums (perhaps without the hit between front rows) could improve RL enormously by reintroducing some variability in size and shape between different forward positions, and between forwards vs backs. Former Great Britain coach Malcolm Reilly was one figure to predict back in the 90s that different positions would tend towards one shape and size, that players could fit across a whole range of position. With the elimination of the competitive scrum, that has come to pass, with backrowers and three quarters interchangable, props and secondrowers interchangable, hookers and halves interchangable.

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.

It seems that England/GB's forwards have not dominated Australia's packs since pushing in the scrums was abolished.

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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

(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.

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.

:lol:

very amusing

its funny seeing all these RL forwards now they dead set look anorexic.

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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!

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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

(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

(1:19, hooker Tatafu Polota Nau (from 1:50, his runs are shown), Springbok loosehead
(0:17, 43m line break), hooker Bismarck Du Plessis, number 8 backrowers
(from 1:50, 70m try) and
(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

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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.

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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

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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.

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Here's a useful reminder

ctpe.jpg

:lol:

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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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...

Rd 3 Raiders v Eels

Had To Be Seen To Be Believed

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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

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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.

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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

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