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chopper15
18-02-08, 18:02
I know that just recently we had this discussion on the refs responsibility on checking, or not, the front row replacements.

In the light of that, and because it has happened to two Cornish clubs now in the last few months, I thought maybe you'd like to read the comments by one of the Mounts Bay officials in today's Western Morning News.


'The final 20 minutes featured uncontested scrums after Canterbury contrived to lose their entire front row to injury at regular intervals, but still finished with one replacement unused. It left the Cornishmen clearly frustrated by their opponents' apparent inability to field a front row through the full 80 minutes.

"I'm not sure what we're going to do about it, but it's definitely something we'll be looking at," said Mounts Bay coach Adrian Bick.

"Going to uncontested scrums is a farce to be honest and didn't suit us at all. We were looking to put a bit of momentum on the game and it's a situation that needs clarifying. They should have had front-row cover and didn't use one of their replacements.

"The fourth official and their coaching staff weren't particularly helpful, but it took the intensity out of the game and rattled our players and we lost our way a bit. It's something we may not get to the bottom of."'

Mounts Bay Div.3 did win however!

ex-lucy
18-02-08, 18:02
ah, that old one....
FR cover means a lucy or a hooker or a thp ... which doesnt mean he can play in all 3 positions i.e. i am a lucy but i cant play hooker and can only play thp at a push and shove (depends on how many post match beers the skipper offers me). A hooker may not be able to play prop... so, it is a loophole ... if you are getting hammered in the scrums ... allege that your last FR replacement cannot play in the relevant position.
Nasty taste but thems the laws ...

truck'n'trailor
18-02-08, 19:02
The Law is clearly open to abuse, and I'm surprised that it doesn't feature more regularly in reports of a similar nature.

The issue is balancing genuine safety concerns with equity, without having to employ professional physicians to force players to remain on the pitch...

David J.
18-02-08, 19:02
I think we often confuse "able to safely" with "able to skillfully". I'm a hooker, but have played all three front row positions and while I will often get my a*s handed to me by a competent oppo prop, esp when I'm loose, I'm confident I won't get injured.

Ex-lucy,
Why can't you play hooker? You may never hook a ball successfully, but do you feel you would be in danger there?

tim White
18-02-08, 19:02
The suitability of anyone to play in the front row is the responsibility of the team concerned (Captain, Coach etc.) DONT BLAME THE REF. If players didn't sue refs you might get us agreeing with you at this point.:wait:

didds
18-02-08, 20:02
Tim -I suspect its not players that sue refs but ambulance chasing lawyers that go after the person with most insurance to pay out. (with the players subsequent consent natch!)

didds

OB..
18-02-08, 20:02
As referee your responsibility is :
(a) to ask if the player is STE for the given front row position;
(b) to intervene if you decide, on seeing a scrum or two, he is not.

Mounts Bay are suggesting their opponents were cheating by claiming injuries that were purely imaginary. Don't ever try to make a player play if he claims he is injured. It is not worth the risk.

This problems with hookers v props has happened at the top level. I remember Gloucester saying Olivier Azam could not sub as prop, even though he had played there for France, because he was currently training only as a hooker. (That was the gist - I may have the details slightly wrong.)

Dixie
18-02-08, 21:02
ah, that old one....A hooker may not be able to play prop... so, it is a loophole ... if you are getting hammered in the scrums ... allege that your last FR replacement cannot play in the relevant position.
Nasty taste but thems the laws ...

Not sure them is, in fact, the laws.


Law 3.5(c) When 19, 20, 21 or 22 players are nominated in a team there must be five players who can play in the front row to ensure that on the first occasion that a replacement hooker is required and, on the first occasion that a replacement prop forward is required, the team can continue to play safely with contested scrums.

So you need to be able to lose a prop AND a hooker before going uncontested. I suggest it is incumbent on a ref facing a squad of 19+ to ensure that these replacements are, in fact, available and receive assurances as to STE. If there is only one FR replacement (i.e. a squad of 16-18), it is the work of a moment to find out what position they are STE to cover.

KML1
18-02-08, 22:02
Dixie

This would have been a Div 3 match and only 18 in the squad so 3.5c doesnt come into it. The league regs state that they only have to replace a FR position on the first occaision. (Div2 upwards, it is twice).

I too am suprised that at Div 3, this doesn't happen more often but that is one for others. As referees we can only deal with what we are told on the pitch at a given time. If you are told a player is injured, then so be it.

chopper15
18-02-08, 22:02
Get the IRB to draft a law (Insur. cover) stating that once a scrum becomes 'uncontested', the packs must be rearranged and both front rows can only be occupied by locks and flankers.

And to compensate, they be allowed to use their loose arm for support instead of that stupid time-wasting and dangerous insistance on binding!

Dixie
18-02-08, 23:02
Get the IRB to draft a law (Insur. cover) stating that once a scrum becomes 'uncontested', the packs must be rearranged and both front rows can only be occupied by locks and flankers. Now that, Sir, is a sensible solution. May I suggest that it would be preferable if the side causing the uncontested scrum had to switch its front and back rows, while the other side could keep its loose forwards loose? That way, there is a disincentive to go uncontested unnecessarily.

OB..
19-02-08, 00:02
... and there is also a severe penalty for an unlucky team that suffers injuries.

Is this a sledge hammer to crack a nut?

David J.
19-02-08, 02:02
And to compensate, they be allowed to use their loose arm for support instead of that stupid time-wasting and dangerous insistance on binding!

The problem is that the bind is not insisted on. That's what causes many of the scrum collapses, IMHO, the LACK of binding, or rather the lack of penalties for not binding.

ex-lucy
19-02-08, 10:02
cf Lyndon Bray and Rob Debney at the weekend.
neither seemed keen on sorting out the binding early on and paid the price...

didds
19-02-08, 19:02
Now that, Sir, is a sensible solution. May I suggest that it would be preferable if the side causing the uncontested scrum had to switch its front and back rows, while the other side could keep its loose forwards loose? That way, there is a disincentive to go uncontested unnecessarily.

and would be a huge motivation for a player with a genuinely injured neck to remain on pitch, with full on scrummaging.

I might suggest that would be a non-starter in the bright ideas box.

I too have huge concerns over the potential abuse of NC scrums. But once you start in effect penalising sides for being the reason for NC scrums, you start to potentialy penalise teams for totally genuine injuries which are nobody's fault. Let alone the potential for the attraction for foul play towards a team's FRs by the oppo who may sense an advantage that may be gained by disabling one more FR.

Not likely I hear you cry? In November we finished a game with 13 men having started with a full bench of 3, having lost 8 with a broken collarbone, 9 with a damaged ankle, 10 with a damaged ankle also, 12 with concussion and 1 with a broken nose (couldn;t breath). 3 completed the match with a badly bruised hand that in other circumstances he'd have come off for. My point being that however infrequent some days you DO lose several players through genuine injuries... why should we maybe have been further penalised via the laws? (and for that point anybody in similar circumstances?)

didds

FlipFlop
19-02-08, 20:02
I like the French idea (that the IRB stopped them using) of the team going to uncontested had to lose a player.

And as for players playing on through injury - in the first instance that is their choice, and then the choice of a physio/medic. But ultimately, it is the choice of the ref to be able to STOP them playing. This is NO change from the current situation.

didds
19-02-08, 21:02
flip flop... hear what you are saying. But it will still lead to cases of players playing on when they shouldn't - or refs will just have to take the line of "any injury = no continuation" which will soon become farcical.

I still feel any such moves as described (including the French one) merely serve to further penalise an already genuinely suffering team

If the French "system" had been in place in the extreme but true example I gave of our recent match, if our 3 had had to go off because of his hand, taking us down to 12 men, then the laws would have required us to actually then remove yet another player and play with 11? That's just plain stupid.

didds

PeterH
19-02-08, 23:02
re: binding.. (sorry for bending the thread)

I gave 4 FK's at the weekend in a L8 league game, was hammered by assessor for it despite giving 2x each - then a major bollocking and from 20 mins in - all sorted and good scummaging followed

so - whilst as an ex-prop - i love to give 2 good front rows the chance to scrummage - the assessor didn't like it..
he felt i should have been at PK on 3rd FK (despite it being first one against that team) and a YC on 4th (their 2nd)
i didn't agree...

i feel i managed it - and matter was solved...

OB..
20-02-08, 00:02
I am with didds on this one, of course.

Davet
20-02-08, 19:02
Squad of 18, 4 STE FTONT ROW players.
Starting 3
1 hooker on bench (or on field)

Satisfies the Law.

1st occasion a prop is injured team say they have to go uncontested...

Not the refs problem, but in fact they have kept the Law anyway.

iRB ruling on this seems to confirm (I forget the number but I'm sure someone will oblige) - STE means "in the required position" The ruling referes to squads of >18, but it must surel be the same at the lower level.

didds
21-02-08, 22:02
I am with didds on this one, of course.

I am not worthy OB! :-)

didds

Andyr8603
21-02-08, 23:02
'I'm STE to play in the front row, but I have an injury this week and cant play there'...have had that this season. Since then I have asked 'are you STe to play in the front row, (answer), are you fit to play there?'

ex-lucy
22-02-08, 10:02
newboy .. isnt binding infringement a PK anyway?
i agree with you .. i would rather manage the situation and let them scrummage (as i know what is going on mostly) .. using contextual judgement .. rather than penalise for the sake of it and to instill authority when it isnt necssarily required.
I would say 99%+ of players i ref are happy with my judgement of scrums etc... but i have only done 9s, 10s and 11s.
Maybe assessors are less tolerant at higher levels. this is a shame as FRers have the same mindset at all levels . .they want to scrum.
what did you say in reply to the asessor?