There has been a lot of ongoing debate over recent years regarding the degradation of the scrum contest.
Now whilst I agree that a lot can be done to sort out the scrum-half, who seems to watch too much superleague and thinks the put-in must go under the lock or no8s feet – making the referee wonder if hooker has done something to upset him that would lead him in turn insult him with such a ridiculous attempt at putting the ball in “straight”.
Recent analysis leads for appaling reading. IRB Scrum Review
47% of scrums were reset in 2009 Six Nations
67% of scrums collapsed in 2010 Six Nations
52% of scrums collapsed on the engagement and 39% collapsed post engagement in 2009 Tri Nations.
The average international stats make very worrying reading:
- Average scrums per match = 16
- Average collapse per match = 9
- Average resets per match = 6 Average
- Penalties/FKs per match = 5.2
So the IRB and the Six Nations have got together to address the issue – as it has become a serious threat to the game.
Despite new protocols, a slower “crouch-touch-pause-engage” players are still struggling to compete properly and effectively. Why are the scrum-halves cheating? Is it because the scrums collapse or is it to reduce the competition for the ball – causing the scrum to collapse as front rows focus on attacking the opposition and not winning the ball?
It is a very technical area of the game. A game within a game really. But such a crucial element, and a part of the fabric that makes rugby what it is. I was pleased last week that two early free kicks for feeding led to 4 strikes against the head in the scrum and zero resets in my match.
We need to keep the scrum. We need to keep it safe. We need clearer direction. We need to stop blaming the ref. And we need players to respond…