View Full Version : Passive Scrums

06-12-04, 15:12
Further to my nightmare match of Saturday, I just want to ask some advice, as I can't seem to find an answer in the rule books.

The game I had involved passive scrums, however, the Scrum Half was feeding the ball almost behind the 2nd row at each scrum, I told him that I was of the opinion he should still feed correctly, as the opposition hooker could not contest, he did not agree

I mean technically it doesn't matter, but what does anyone think? should he adhere to a correct feed, or just throw it in anyhow??

06-12-04, 16:12
Law 3.14 (d) "An uncontested scrum is the same as a normal scrum, except that the teams do not compete for the ball, the team throwing in the ball must win it, and neither team is allowed to push."
I see nothing in this law that relaxes the requirement to throw-in straight when scrums are uncontested.

While I agree that a crooked feed makes no difference to the outcome, it does allow the ball to come out faster, and it also builds bad habits. I see no reason why you should not inform the scrum-half that you will penalise him if he does not put it in straight. He has nothing to lose by it, since his team MUST win the ball. And he might pick up a good habit!

(Which raises the question, what do you do if somebody manages to kick the ball to the opposition? I would reset the scrum. If it keeps happening, penalise them for time-wasting.)

06-03-05, 17:03
The game I had involved passive scrums, however, the Scrum Half was feeding the ball almost behind the 2nd row at each scrum, I told him that I was of the opinion he should still feed correctly, as the opposition hooker could not contest, he did not agree

Doesn't matter whether he agreed or not. Blow it up and turn it over IMHO


Robert Burns
06-03-05, 17:03
I think in uncontested let the first you notice go, warn at the next, and if needed, penalise.

10-03-05, 20:03
If it does not influence the outcome and does not bother anybody but the referee, let it go. Whether he will feed straight at contested scrums is for another day.

10-03-05, 21:03
Hmmmmmmm, I got told to today by my adviser to make passive scrums better technically. I find that if you allow them to deteriorate into feeding crooked, they inevitably start to hook it poorly, take a long time to heel it, and thus the ball is not cleaner but slower. This in turn slows the game down. i was told to actively encourage the scrum half to put it in properly so that the hooker in turn could hook it properly and it reached the back quicker.

Have to say that when it actually happened, it worked. The main problem I found was to convince the scrum halves and hookers to co-operate.

10-03-05, 21:03
Joop - I strongly disagree. If he does not do it right when there is no possibility of losing the ball, he will never bother. His hooker will not get used to a straight throw-in either.

Do not allow players to acquire bad habits, even if they do not seem to matter in the parcicular game. They are hard to unlearn.

Robert Burns
10-03-05, 23:03
Welcome to the forum Joop, Keep putting what you believe, none of us are always right, and I have learn't loads from these guys.

Hope you do too.

11-03-05, 04:03
materiality anyone?


Robert Burns
11-03-05, 07:03
I hate that word,

means bugger all i think, Common sense is better.

As I said before, just let the scrum half know, he might not like it but if you just make your point i'm sure there will be no arguement. And if anything the hooker will probably appreciate the ball being where it should be.

11-03-05, 10:03
Joop, I'd go with you on this. With uncontested scrums you want the ball in and out as quickly as possible. I don't agree about getting them into bad habits, since it will usually only be for a part of one game, and you don't get a habit from one game. Technically it is an infringement, but common sense dictates that you should park that Law, and you've got other things to think about, not least of which is binding of the duration, and getting the ball away cleanly.

I do agree with Peter's advice on ensuring that the scrum is still properly formed, because the forwards tend to get sloppy about binding and the timing of the engagement when you go uncontested. There is still a lot of pressure being applied and the last thing you want is poor body positions and loose binding.

Account Deleted
11-03-05, 10:03
I once pinged a hooker for "foot up" in an uncontested scrum.

On the subject of the team hooking the ball and then kicking it through to the other side. I would play on.

The second team has done nothing wrong and the first team did "win" the ball! they just cocked it up! Poor technique has let the side who had the put in down. They will / may learn from it!

At U-19s I would warm first for Foot- up or feeding a passive scrum. and ping the next ones since their skill levels tend to be lower. But at seniors I'd sort it out more quickly. With the kickingthrough also at U-19 I would probablyre-set the first one but advise that if it happens again it's tough luck

04-04-05, 18:04
In similar vein, in uncontested scrums within the 'teams do not compete for the ball' (3.13.e) way of thinking does that stop SH's harrassing their opposite number. There is no restriction to back row activities and they can still conduct set moves - can't they? Thankfully I haven't had this dilema as a ref but had it last as a player.

04-04-05, 22:04
certainly back row moves are allowed :-)

IMO its the only way in many cases to actually maintain any "benefit" to a scrummage for the feeding side i.e. to concentrate the oppo back row to that immediate area and to - hopefully ! - keep the oppo centres on their back foot rather than waiting to sprint

watched a game last saturday that had to go to uncontested - up til then match had been very open and flowing. With the backrows under no pressure whatsoever to remain "really bound" (ie pushing hard) any ball to the FH to initiate a back move had nmo space to operate in.


04-04-05, 23:04
Spamlixee - An uncontested scrum is over when the ball leaves the scrum or as soon as the rearmost player unbinds with the ball at his feet, which is the same thing of course.

Mat 04
05-04-05, 00:04
Forget that, referees have enough to worry about, if the player want to mess up their own technique then let them.

Simon Thomas
12-04-05, 13:04
Insist on correct scrum procedures in all phases for uncontested scrum is my approach, except of course a far gentler engagement than usual as there is no power coming from the second row.
It's all been said above. IMHO any scum half feeding like that is 'taking-the-p*ss' and challening my control of the match.
It is vital to retain as much normality as possible during the uncontested scrums period. Especially back-row binding !

Simon Griffiths
12-04-05, 14:04
Definitely back-row binding. We know which side the ball must come out, so the goings on actually in the scrum are of comparatively little importance. Whereas, the back-rows un-binding is 'non-scrum related' - i.e. they are going to muller the fly-half (if they're any good), as such, their involvment has little to do with whether the scrum is contested or uncontested, it's after the scrum that the scrum time non-binding becomes evident/crucial.

12-04-05, 14:04
You might find this incredible, but I saw it on Saturday.

Uncontested scrums. So, make sure everyone knows what they can/can't do.
"Yes ref" - OK, good to go.

Not once, not twice, but THREE times the team with the put in LOST IT to the opposition - they got the timing so wrong they kicked it into the oppositions' feet.

I was too busy laughing in disbelief to do much about it....

12-04-05, 16:04
3.14 (d) An uncontested scrum is the same as a normal scrum, except that the teams do not compete for the ball, the team throwing in the ball must win it, and neither team is allowed to push.

What constitutes "winning" it? If it is hooked but then kicked into the opposition scrum, has the requirement been met?
If the team fails to hook the ball, I would argue that they have not won it, so it would have to be put in again. Is that what actually happened? Surely it would make sense for their opponents to kick it back to them?!

Mat 04
12-04-05, 16:04
Uncontested? Uncontested scrums must be won by the team throwing in musnt they?

Passive scrums - no pushing

Simon Griffiths
12-04-05, 16:04
Given those definitions, there is no such thing as a 'passive scrum' (not in Law anyway).

Mat 04
12-04-05, 16:04
Ah, it may possibley be a WRU thing, I know that the RFU ag grade rules are different.

Here we have:

Uncontested - Team throwing in must win the ball, obviously, no striking by opposite hooker and no pushing.

Then at U11, the scrums become passive.

Passive - Both hookers may strike for the ball, but no pushing.

Simon Griffiths
12-04-05, 16:04
So passive is one of the natural progressions through mini-, midi- and junior rugby. I now know where the phrase comes from (I would presume). But the Law book makes no provision for it in the adult game, it's always an 'uncontested scrum'.

Thanks for the info. now I know if I'm ever in Wales.

Mat 04
12-04-05, 16:04
Surely not? in an international match, if there were 2 specialised hookers but no front row replacements, wouldnt they say contest but dont push?

12-04-05, 22:04
Mat - it has happened more than once in internationals. There is no contest in an uncontested scrum. (Wow, there's a surprise!) No pushing etc.

Simon Griffiths
12-04-05, 23:04
I know it's not international, but the same happened in the Gloucester v Leicester Powergen Cup semi-final a few years back. Azam, Fortey and Woodman I think were the three on the field, and that was before Azam learnt to officially prop. In that instance it went to uncontested.