WWW.RLFANS.COM • View topic - No scrums !
Re: No scrums ! Mon Aug 03, 2020 9:04 am  
coco the fullback User avatar
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This is the ideal opportunity to decide the future of the RL scrum.

We can see what the game looks like without them and possibly re-invent them if/when they are re-introduced to meet the needs of the modern game.

They RFL/SL/NRL need to decide what they want the scrum to achieve.

It used to be a contest for the ball, but those days are long gone. Through the 80s it slowly deteriorated into farce (as some have pointed out) with resets and penalties. They even downgraded the penalty to a differential penalty, so that the punishment wasn't too harsh (no kicks at goal). Hardly ever did you have a clean scrum. The modern SL version is a complete waste of time and looks even worse aesthetically. It gives RU fans something to bash us with (although their scrums may well be starting the same decline).

The first question to ask is do we want it back?

Secondly, if we do, what function do we want the scrum to have?

Unfortunately, I can't ever see it being a contest for possession in the old-fashioned sense. The cleaned-up / sped-up modern game would not tolerate it.

It is suggested that it gives variety to restarting the game after an error and takes the forwards out of the game for one play, giving the backs even more room to make a break. As has also been pointed out, even this has been removed as coaches increasingly want forwards as first receiver from a scrum, meaning the defending side also has to match up. This also means there is a focus on breaking away from the scrum as soon as possible, making the scrums a pointless facade.

One idea I had was to not allow any of the starting 7 backs to join the scrum at any time, but this may be difficult to police and wouldn't probably change the nature of the modern scrum for the players to break away as soon as the ball is released by the scrum-half (who sometimes just passes it to the 'loose-forward' (more often the hooker packing down there))

Otherwise, you could change the rules to try and make sure the scrum is packed down well and the trend of using backs is reversed.

Some ideas for discussion:
  • The offending team would not be allowed to strike for the ball, but they would be allowed to push in the scrum once the ball is put in. This could be indicated by the referee.
  • No-one is allowed to break from the scrum until the ball leaves the scrum by being picked up by the scrum-half or loose-forward (again, perhaps indicated by the referee).
  • The ball can be kept in the scrum to add uncertainty.
  • On put-in, the ball has to enter the tunnel and touch the ground within the scrum before it reaches the second-row. This leaves the situation where the attacking 'hooker' can put his feet forward in the scrum and the scrum-half can land the ball behind his feet. Obviously, this would have been 'feeding' in the old rules, but it serves to swing the balance of possession to the non-offending side.

The potential for pushing should ensure both sides use their forwards in the pack and bind properly. The uncertainty of timing of the ball release should prevent early break-up of the scrum.
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Re: No scrums ! Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:04 am  
Slugger McBatt User avatar
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coco the fullback wrote:
This is the ideal opportunity to decide the future of the RL scrum.

We can see what the game looks like without them and possibly re-invent them if/when they are re-introduced to meet the needs of the modern game.

They RFL/SL/NRL need to decide what they want the scrum to achieve.

It used to be a contest for the ball, but those days are long gone. Through the 80s it slowly deteriorated into farce (as some have pointed out) with resets and penalties. They even downgraded the penalty to a differential penalty, so that the punishment wasn't too harsh (no kicks at goal). Hardly ever did you have a clean scrum. The modern SL version is a complete waste of time and looks even worse aesthetically. It gives RU fans something to bash us with (although their scrums may well be starting the same decline).

The first question to ask is do we want it back?

Secondly, if we do, what function do we want the scrum to have?

Unfortunately, I can't ever see it being a contest for possession in the old-fashioned sense. The cleaned-up / sped-up modern game would not tolerate it.

It is suggested that it gives variety to restarting the game after an error and takes the forwards out of the game for one play, giving the backs even more room to make a break. As has also been pointed out, even this has been removed as coaches increasingly want forwards as first receiver from a scrum, meaning the defending side also has to match up. This also means there is a focus on breaking away from the scrum as soon as possible, making the scrums a pointless facade.

One idea I had was to not allow any of the starting 7 backs to join the scrum at any time, but this may be difficult to police and wouldn't probably change the nature of the modern scrum for the players to break away as soon as the ball is released by the scrum-half (who sometimes just passes it to the 'loose-forward' (more often the hooker packing down there))

Otherwise, you could change the rules to try and make sure the scrum is packed down well and the trend of using backs is reversed.

Some ideas for discussion:
  • The offending team would not be allowed to strike for the ball, but they would be allowed to push in the scrum once the ball is put in. This could be indicated by the referee.
  • No-one is allowed to break from the scrum until the ball leaves the scrum by being picked up by the scrum-half or loose-forward (again, perhaps indicated by the referee).
  • The ball can be kept in the scrum to add uncertainty.
  • On put-in, the ball has to enter the tunnel and touch the ground within the scrum before it reaches the second-row. This leaves the situation where the attacking 'hooker' can put his feet forward in the scrum and the scrum-half can land the ball behind his feet. Obviously, this would have been 'feeding' in the old rules, but it serves to swing the balance of possession to the non-offending side.

The potential for pushing should ensure both sides use their forwards in the pack and bind properly. The uncertainty of timing of the ball release should prevent early break-up of the scrum.


Isn't that the problem with it though, policing all of that. It'll just lead to delays and messing around, when really it is just a mechanism to restart the game.

Also, the greater concern about player safety might make them not compatible with the modern game. Scrums, in reality, went as soon as they stopped enforcing the feeding rule. That is the crux of the problem. Enforce the feeding rule and it becomes a contest again. But a messy, time-wasting contest.
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Re: No scrums ! Mon Aug 03, 2020 11:37 am  
little wayne69 Bronze RLFANS Member
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Slugger McBatt wrote:
My memory of contested scrums is one of constant scrum re-sets, collapses and penalties, and that they were messy, scruffy affairs. Perhaps the lack of flankers makes them more susceptible to being messy, because the flanker locks them all together somehow, but I'm not sure I want to see any return to blokes ending up in a heap all the way through the game.

Well put, you have only to watch the debacle at the scrums in union and the countless times they have to pack down again usually resulting in a penalty anyway, if your having uncontested scrums then what's the point, as against wasting time with the contested scrums with all the infringements that go with it.
Re: No scrums ! Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:27 pm  

Big lads mate Silver RLFANS Member
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Unsure on this one, if it’s contested then yes but can’t see any point if it’s just to put the ball in and stand up again. When I started watching and was hopefully understanding the game down at BV early to mid 70s I couldn’t wait for a scrum because 9 times out of 10 there was the left and rights to follow, best part of the game
Re: No scrums ! Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:32 pm  

Redscat wrote:
Redscat Free-scoring winger
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Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2015 6:10 pm
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I suppose you could liken the whole scrum issue to that of "playing the ball". I recently watched an old London Broncos v Canberra from 1997 and the referee, Connolly, actually penalised the players for not using the heel whilst playing the ball, yet in yesterday's Catalan/Saints game you hardly saw the heel make contact with the ball, particularly from Cats, yet the referee, Ben Thaler, let it go throughout the game. I suppose not quite the same as the scrum issue, but you either have, and enforce, the rule or not.
Re: No scrums ! Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:14 pm  

Oddshapeball wrote:
Oddshapeball Eddie Hemmings's Wig
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Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:02 pm
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lampyboy wrote:
Lets ve honest even in RU if you put the ball in you get it out.

Yes after waiting half hour.
Re: No scrums ! Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:48 am  

User avatarFIL wrote:
FIL User avatar
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1315trinity wrote:
You only have to see who packs down in a scrum - wingers, full backs etc to see they are a total joke.
They are nothing more than a tactical set piece and should be done properly or scrapped.


Yep...was watching the Sydney Roosters game the other night and Ryan Hall actually fed one of the scrums :shock: :shock:
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Re: No scrums ! Tue Aug 04, 2020 6:05 pm  

Big lads mate Silver RLFANS Member
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FIL wrote:
Yep...was watching the Sydney Roosters game the other night and Ryan Hall actually fed one of the scrums :shock: :shock:

Probably to keep him out of the way cos he’s been terrible for them.
Re: No scrums ! Tue Aug 04, 2020 7:21 pm  

User avatarFIL wrote:
FIL User avatar
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Location: Riding the Trinity rollercoaster !!
Yep...have to agree BLM, and with Toronto now off-loading players, then who knows where he will end up next season....Hunslet ?? :D :D
To me he is in the same boat as Kallum Watkins and should have hung his boots up 2 years ago !!
M.I.B. ??....nope - M.I.R.W.B !!!

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Re: No scrums ! Wed Aug 05, 2020 9:34 am  

chapylad wrote:
chapylad Bronze RLFANS Member
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FIL wrote:
Yep...have to agree BLM, and with Toronto now off-loading players, then who knows where he will end up next season....Hunslet ?? :D :D
To me he is in the same boat as Kallum Watkins and should have hung his boots up 2 years ago !!

Haha not so sure that was the case for Hall 2 years ago.
But saying that if you were given a hefty pay cheque each week for simply putting the ball into a scrum would you have turned it down!!?
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