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Scrums these days

Umaga's Witness

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Anything scrums and how they are playing out these days. It would be good if anyone who k ows what's going on in there can lend some insights.

A few things I've noticed:
1. This year and last year (if memory serves me), we have seen not just one dominant team in a given game. At one point one team is dominant, then adjustments are made and the other team sures up their scrum or even dominates. I think this is really cool because in previous years we'd been seeing no contest; there was simply one team better than the other in a given game, which leads me on to the next point.
2. When one scrum consistently dominates the other , it has a massive effect on the game because the inferior team simply can't prevent giving away a penalty. In other areas of the game penalties are avoidable. If you are getting pushed backward in a scrum you are going to fall over, there's nothing you can do. You can pop up or unbind to stabilise, but those are penalties too. Which brings me to the next point.
3. If you have a dominant scrum you have the perverse incentive to deliberately knock the ball on or throw forward passes, as long as you don't make it look deliberate. That is just wrong. Hopefully sportsmanship will prevail, but we've seen that when the pressure gets high sportsmanship can go out the door . you see more cynical play, especially Hollywood's, at world cups than any other time for example.
4. Recently it's quite obviously not just been about the players, or at least not just about the front row. We've seen some players excel in some teams and not so much in others. Yesterday we saw the brumbies scrum completely dominate big Karl and ofa. James slipper isn't a renowned scrummager, so is 7a's really that good? Maybe he is, maybe that wasn't the best example. Id be keen to hear views
 

Every Time Ref

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Anything scrums and how they are playing out these days. It would be good if anyone who k ows what's going on in there can lend some insights.

A few things I've noticed:
1. This year and last year (if memory serves me), we have seen not just one dominant team in a given game. At one point one team is dominant, then adjustments are made and the other team sures up their scrum or even dominates. I think this is really cool because in previous years we'd been seeing no contest; there was simply one team better than the other in a given game, which leads me on to the next point.
2. When one scrum consistently dominates the other , it has a massive effect on the game because the inferior team simply can't prevent giving away a penalty. In other areas of the game penalties are avoidable. If you are getting pushed backward in a scrum you are going to fall over, there's nothing you can do. You can pop up or unbind to stabilise, but those are penalties too. Which brings me to the next point.
3. If you have a dominant scrum you have the perverse incentive to deliberately knock the ball on or throw forward passes, as long as you don't make it look deliberate. That is just wrong. Hopefully sportsmanship will prevail, but we've seen that when the pressure gets high sportsmanship can go out the door . you see more cynical play, especially Hollywood's, at world cups than any other time for example.
4. Recently it's quite obviously not just been about the players, or at least not just about the front row. We've seen some players excel in some teams and not so much in others. Yesterday we saw the brumbies scrum completely dominate big Karl and ofa. James slipper isn't a renowned scrummager, so is 7a's really that good? Maybe he is, maybe that wasn't the best example. Id be keen to hear views

I'm not scrum expert at all but I take issue with #3 - despite everything you say in #2 (which is true), it is still not the case that the defending team, however dominant, can expect to win the ball back off the other side's put in. It just doesn't happen often enough to make deliberately giving away scrums when you have the ball an option. When the opposition have the ball, yes I can see it being an advantage, but how many opportunities really are there to deliberately concede a scrum when you don't have the ball?
 

Umaga's Witness

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I'm not scrum expert at all but I take issue with #3 - despite everything you say in #2 (which is true), it is still not the case that the defending team, however dominant, can expect to win the ball back off the other side's put in. It just doesn't happen often enough to make deliberately giving away scrums when you have the ball an option. When the opposition have the ball, yes I can see it being an advantage, but how many opportunities really are there to deliberately concede a scrum when you don't have the ball?
I’m really talking about those times when one team is vastly superior. There have definitely been times when a scrum is so dominant that they can virtually guarantee to win a penalty regardless of who puts the ball in. And with the enforcing of hooking the ball these days you can have an extra advantage when you are the team not putting the ball in. You get to put a shunt on as they hook.
 

tewdric

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Jun 24, 2019
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A lot of it is down to refereeing. if a ref allows looseheads to bore in, or tightheads to bind short on the arm and push down then the scrum will go a certain way. If front rows are made to stay square, support their weight properly, keep shoulders above hips and hook the ball properly things tend to be more consistent. I think this is why dominance can vary throughout the game - it depends to a degree on which side the ref is standing, whose ball it is and what the props are allowed to get away with.
 

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