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Taff
25-11-15, 23:11
I don't understand something. Bearing in mind 20.6(c) how can the ball be dribbled in at a scrum and sit in the tunnel?

20.6 How the scrum half throws in the ball
(c) The scrum half must throw in the ball at a quick speed. The ball must be released from the scrum half’s hands from outside the tunnel. Sanction: Free Kick
My understanding is that the SH must throw in the ball with enough speed for it to emerge from the other side of the tunnel if it wasn't touched. If a ball just "sits" in the tunnel while neither Hooker hooks it - which we see quite often at elite level these days, surely it can't have been thrown in quick enough in the first place. :chin:

It got to the stage where I thought I'd read it wrong and that it meant the SH must throw the ball in PDQ when asked, but that's already covered in 20.5.

Iron_Lung
25-11-15, 23:11
I think you would be within your rights to interpret it that way, but it's a bit subjective isn't it? I don't have any problem with your definition, but if the SH throws the ball into the tunnel and it stops, and no one hooks it, why wouldn't you let the scrum play out instead of blowing up a free kick?

I remember the Wallabies v Fiji game at the RWC having a few of these, scrums that lasted what felt like an eternity with neither team able to hook. However if both teams are up for a contest, why would you want to prevent that?

I guess they way I look at it, what behavior are you trying to change or prevent. I can understand trying to make it a contest by stopping the SH from placing the ball in for the hooker, but as long as he throws it from outside the tunnel I'd be hard pressed to find a reason not to let the scrum happen.

What prompted the question out of curiosity?

Taff
26-11-15, 00:11
... What prompted the question out of curiosity?
I've seen quite a few scrums over the last few years (admittedly on telly - none at grass roots level) where the ball SH just dribbles the ball in .. and it stays there. The more I've seen it, the more I've thought to myself "Isn't he meant to chuck it in faster than that?" It's been bugging me for a year or two. :biggrin:


... I guess they way I look at it, what behaviour are you trying to change or prevent?
I've never had to use it, but I suppose the elite Refs could use it to force Hookers to hook. I can understand that it wouldn't bother most Refs, but why is it in the law book at all, if we ignore it?

OB..
26-11-15, 02:11
I don't understand something. Bearing in mind 20.6(c) how can the ball be dribbled in at a scrum and sit in the tunnel?

20.6 How the scrum half throws in the ball
(c) The scrum half must throw in the ball at a quick speed. The ball must be released from the scrum half’s hands from outside the tunnel. Sanction: Free Kick
I think it is largely historical.

In the 19th century, the ball would be placed on the ground and then the forwards would gather round and start shoving. By the beginning of the 20th scrums were more organised with a scrum half putting the ball in, but there were no laws about front rows or how the ball was to be put in. They had a lot of trouble in the 1920s and 1930s, so there was a lot of argument and experimentation.

In 1926 the law said "The ball shall be placed in a scrummage without delay".
In 1931 the player should "gently propel the ball", and you could have no more than 3 players in the front row (teams kept trying to add players so as to get the loose head).
In 1937 the requirement was "moderate speed".
At some time between 1959 and 1974 it became "at a quick speed ".

Iron_Lung
26-11-15, 02:11
...but I suppose the elite Refs could use it to force Hookers to hook. I can understand that it wouldn't bother most Refs, but why is it in the law book at all, if we ignore it?

I'm not sure why we'd want to force Hooker's to hook. It's still an open contest at that point so I'd be willing to let them fight it out as long as they like. If a team was holding the ball in the scrum to waste time then I'd have some issues and want to sort that out sharpish.

It could be an old rule when there was more of a hooking contest. Faster throw in so that the feeding hooker doesn't have more of an advantage than necessary perhaps? Think of it as the equivalent of a puck drop in ice hockey where timing is critical?

It would probably become more important if we were going to be much harder on straight feeds, but the lack of enforcement there probably negates any advantage that could be gained from a slow feed.

I still can't see anything that says it has to be going fast enough to exit the other tunnel though...

Ian_Cook
26-11-15, 03:11
I'm not sure why we'd want to force Hooker's to hook. It's still an open contest at that point so I'd be willing to let them fight it out as long as they like. If a team was holding the ball in the scrum to waste time then I'd have some issues and want to sort that out sharpish..


I'm sure.

What we need in the scrum is an actual hooking contest but we often don't get one at elite level because a hooker who is trying to hook the ball is at a disadvantage against any opposing pack with no intention to hook (their pack has an 8-7 shoving advantage).

I don't think I have ever seen this enforced at Elite level...

Law 20.2 (c) Hooker in a position to hook. Until the ball is thrown in, the hooker must be in a position to hook the ball. The hookers must have both feet on the ground, with their weight firmly on at least one foot. A hooker’s foremost foot must not be in front of the foremost foot of that team’s props.
Sanction: Free Kick

...we often see the hooker of the non-throwing in team with both feet back ready to push. I think perhaps it was Los Pumas who first did this regularly back in the 1960's with the "Bajada" (http://www.myoquip.com.au/Bajada_article.htm), what we often call the "eight-man shove"