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Account Deleted
14-11-05, 12:11
Last week I watched an under 18 game (governed by the WRU "Pathway" Laws)

I was worried by what I saw.

At no scrum that was in ear shot from my position close to the touchline did I hear "Crouch Touch, Pause Engage" in fact the only word that was called was the final one of the sequence ie engage.

Several scrums saw the front rows either go down or up and, except for 2 or 3 penalties this was ignored. On one occasion we saw the red prop not only go to ground but he was on his back with feet and arms in the air as the blue scrum drove over him (the scrum went beyound the 1.5 metres).

One "explanation" i was given was that as this was "Acadamy rugby" "normal rules apply".

What had grerat issue within this reply excluding the fact that Collapsing and Poping scrums MUST be reset or pinged in "normal" rugby. was that there was a disregard for a specific safety issue just because these were "elite" players at their age group.

We all know, and saw on the weekend, that referees do play on after popped and collapsed scrums all to often. to see it a youth level was concerning.

To hammer the point home we saw the Aussie prop carried from the field on Saturday following a collapsed scrum (at which you could hear on the commentary and English player, Matt Dawson I think, telling the ref that the scrum had been collapsed) and the England pack being allowed to drive on. Now I know that MD was looking for the penalty or penalty try. But if he could see the scrum had collapsed why did the officials not see it?) thankfully the player did not suffer serious injury.

I can see a court case following a TV game where the ref will be hung out to dry if there is clear TV evidence that proper care has not been taken.

Is there a directive from the IRB / unions to allow play to continue following these incidents?

Laws 20.3 h & i are quite clear as is Law 8.3 d & e. the ref must stop the game.

didds
14-11-05, 13:11
To hammer the point home we saw the Aussie prop carried from the field on Saturday following a collapsed scrum (at which you could hear on the commentary and English player, Matt Dawson I think, telling the ref that the scrum had been collapsed) and the England pack being allowed to drive on. Now I know that MD was looking for the penalty or penalty try. But if he could see the scrum had collapsed why did the officials not see it?) thankfully the player did not suffer serious injury.


being cynical by nature I think the above quote answer's its own question WRT the "injured" prop, the accusation of a collapse and the fact that there was no actual injury of note suffered.

In other words - and this is purely a theory and nothing else, maybe it was a deliberate collapse and given the immediately previous outcome of a collapsed scrum the pprop thouhgt that an "injury" was preferable to a yellow card & PT, and the end result was (in either way as it happens) going to be uncontested scrums and immediate loss of pressure on their own line.

I would be delighted to be proved wrong.

Which leads us maybe to debate the perceived reaons for all and any collapsed scrums at top tier international levels: is a prop at test level that collapses becasuse he is not able to take the pressure any less liable for a compoletely cynicak collapse? Should the theoiry be - you are a prop from a top ten nation playing test rugby and the base presumption is that you should be able to take the pressure and able to keep your scrummage up - and anything that leads you to collapse (that is legal - see below) should this be construed as you deliberately collapsing the scfrum and a PK award.

Note I am not talking about pressure from boring in, or twisting/dropping the scrum.

didds

OB..
14-11-05, 14:11
I can see a court case following a TV game where the ref will be hung out to dry if there is clear TV evidence that proper care has not been taken.
There have already been two recent (non TV) cases where the referee was held liable for a serious neck injury because he did not referee the scrums correctly.

Simon Griffiths
14-11-05, 18:11
I agree that the 'elite' excuse was a rubbish one. I read something by Huw Watkins (I think it was him) about his antics at the U19 RWC. He said in the article that it was difficult to referee these U19 laws because most of them are playing top-flight, adult rugby week-in, week-out. But, as he said, even at this exceptionally elite and internationally level, the laws are there for safety and had to be adhered to. When the players were scrummaging for the likes of Cardiff or Leeds etc. they would be surrounded by older, stronger, more experienced players who make the scrums etc. that bit more stable and solid.

U19 laws are there to be refereed, not ignored - the level of junior rugby is irrelevant.

ex-lucy
14-11-05, 18:11
when i ref Colts (u19s) on a Sunday, quite a few of the players play senior rugby on a Saturday .. so they find it difficult to adjust e.g. "use it" when ball's at No8's feet in scrums, wheel @ 45 degs, 1.5 drive in scrums, no squeeze ball etc ...

similarly schools rugby @ u15s compared to club rugby ... e.g. sh not past tunnel ...

we must be true to our principals (or is that principles?) ...

Robert Burns
14-11-05, 19:11
U19 are fine for squeeze ball, it's U18's that it's outlawed for in England.

didds
14-11-05, 23:11
similarly schools rugby @ u15s compared to club rugby ... e.g. sh not past tunnel ...


is this another example of schools using their own interpretatoons of laws rather than those they are SUPPOSED to be using? Or are there actuial differences between school and club rugby at these ages?

And if so - what happens at county squad level where schools and clubs are now mixed into one single county squad?

didds

Account Deleted
14-11-05, 23:11
being cynical by nature I think the above quote answer's its own question WRT the "injured" prop, the accusation of a collapse and the fact that there was no actual injury of note suffered.

In other words - and this is purely a theory and nothing else, maybe it was a deliberate collapse and given the immediately previous outcome of a collapsed scrum the pprop thouhgt that an "injury" was preferable to a yellow card & PT, and the end result was (in either way as it happens) going to be uncontested scrums and immediate loss of pressure on their own line.

I would be delighted to be proved wrong.

Which leads us maybe to debate the perceived reaons for all and any collapsed scrums at top tier international levels: is a prop at test level that collapses becasuse he is not able to take the pressure any less liable for a compoletely cynicak collapse? Should the theoiry be - you are a prop from a top ten nation playing test rugby and the base presumption is that you should be able to take the pressure and able to keep your scrummage up - and anything that leads you to collapse (that is legal - see below) should this be construed as you deliberately collapsing the scfrum and a PK award.

Note I am not talking about pressure from boring in, or twisting/dropping the scrum.

didds

Whatever the intentions of the players involved, the ref on Sat left himself open by not stopping the scrum as soon as the FR went down. He had the sactions, PT etc open to him yet he apeared to choose not to follow the Law. Now did he not see the front row go down in front of him? Did he not hear the "advise" from the ever helpful Matt D?

Deeps
15-11-05, 00:11
is this another example of schools using their own interpretatoons of laws rather than those they are SUPPOSED to be using? Or are there actuial differences between school and club rugby at these ages?

And if so - what happens at county squad level where schools and clubs are now mixed into one single county squad?

didds

In addition to Saturday senior league games, I referee at both fee paying and state schools, college/uni games and at club junior games on Sundays at all age groups, all over Hampshire, week in, week out. I can vouch that in Hampshire at least there is complete integration between schools and clubs in the application of law. Many school players play representative rugby at club level and in the county squads. Many of the county coaches coach at schools, colleges and clubs as do many referees. I like to think we have got it all in one sock down here.

Account Deleted
15-11-05, 08:11
being cynical by nature I think the above quote answer's its own question WRT the "injured" prop, the accusation of a collapse and the fact that there was no actual injury of note suffered.

In other words - and this is purely a theory and nothing else, maybe it was a deliberate collapse and given the immediately previous outcome of a collapsed scrum the prop thouhgt that an "injury" was preferable to a yellow card & PT, and the end result was (in either way as it happens) going to be uncontested scrums and immediate loss of pressure on their own line.

didds

Are you saying that if the ref thinks that the collapse was deliberated by the Aussie prop he should do nothing to stop the drive if the attackers could gain an advantage? Thus risking injury either to the prop who collapsed the scrum or to another, innocent, player?



should this be construed as you deliberately collapsing the scrum and a PK award.
Note I am not talking about pressure from boring in, or twisting/dropping the scrum.
didds

Is this not why we have the term "STE" for players in the the front row? Questions must be asked about the Aussie front row in terms of training and technique. If a player repeatedly cannot hold up a scrum where his opposite not behaving illegally then he surely is not STE. WRT to the suggestion of the award of a PK. The referee did award one here. My issue wis with te time it took for him to award the PK and the potential risk to players in the scrum.

Mike Whittaker
15-11-05, 08:11
If a prop cannot 'take the pressure' then what is he supposed to do? By virtue of the fact that he unable to take it then his subsequent action is liable to be involuntary anyway. We hardly want to introduce a wrestling or judo type submission!!

Sorry, but 'STE'??

tim White
15-11-05, 09:11
Suitably Trained and Experienced. Actually capable.

Account Deleted
15-11-05, 09:11
If a prop cannot 'take the pressure' then what is he supposed to do? By virtue of the fact that he unable to take it then his subsequent action is liable to be involuntary anyway. We hardly want to introduce a wrestling or judo type submission!!

Sorry, but 'STE'??

For safety he needs to be removed from the game. There may be an issue about depowering scrums but that is another debate

The points in this one are

1; The player must be STE and the resonsibility for that lies wit hthe team and not the ref.

2; The ref did not blow as soon as the scrum was collapsed (cause of colapse is not relevent) to prevent futher pushing. This could have caused serious injury. Why? Remeber Matt D called to him thart the scrum had gone down. S othe ref had his own vision and 3rd a third party bringing a safety issue to his notice. Whilst accepting the "not consultation with others bit" Surely after heating Dawson he naturally would look closely at the situation.

Sadly I've seen referees play "advantage" following collapsed scrums and seen many hookers and props play periscopes as a scrum continues to exist. Surely it is one of the easier calls to say the scrum is down or up, is it not?

Bryan
15-11-05, 10:11
At our Society meeting last night we had a couple Premier 3 coaches turn up. Their view was that after the weekend's matches, the knee-jerk reaction will be for all scrums to be governed by the U19 variations. The quote of the night was "What mum wants their kid playing in the front row after seeing the Aussie prop go down on Saturday?"

Similarly, safety issues were raised when teams don't have to match if a player is temporarily sent-off, as 6 on 8 seems dangerously mismatched- the rebuttal being that the English had no problems against the Kiwis not too long ago.

Again, this all seems knee-jerk, but then again it was an interesting discussion and everyone was in agreement that the Scottish method will be adopted by many other nations, though I was in a room full of Scots...

-Bryan

Davet
15-11-05, 13:11
I really hope that the knee-jerkers stop twitching very soon. I especially hope that the scrums at adult level are not going to be reffed to U19 variation as in Scotland. I know a number of FR forwards who would simply give up.

The laws as they stand provide a safe environment for STE players.

Note; STE must somewhere along the line include a player's first competitive game as a FR forward. The ref needs to know that is the case so that he can keep a close eye on things - not to ask the oppostion to be gentle on the guy - they may well rather try to take advantage of a virgin - but to ensure that the scrums are holding up, that the player is not distressed and to be ready to go uncontested if required.

Simon Thomas
15-11-05, 14:11
It is important to differentiate between the Sheridan incident with Elite players and officials, and what the rest of us mortals (level 5 and below Community Referees) do on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.
The Elite players are now so strong and so fit that the physical pressure exterted in FR is dozens of tons, and their technique is excellent - in most cases.
These professional players are trained and coached to deal with it all. Unfortunately the only away Baxter could it was by collapsing - good old fashioned prop's solution. He finally got carded, other prop swapped sides (it's a rare ability at elite level to do that), it's a 5 metre scrum, and England are going for a score so full 'power on'. He collapses poorly and get's injured !
How many scrums in the Eng v Aus match were static when the ball was thrown in, how often were the props binding correctly, how often was one or more props 'boring in' ? But that is showbiz rugby.

As a level 7 referee I would expect to be shredded by an adviser like Mike W. if I allowed that sort of scrummaging to go on. We must have static scrums after a good controlled engagement, insist on correct binding, no 'tricks' (step or dip before engagement, boring in, etc), and correct height of FR. And no deliberate collapsing. If it does collapse, we should blow immediately and get second row presssure off.
You have to be confident in your knowledge of FR play, but if one prop is so obviously stronger / better in technique than another, I use a quiet word to him - ok had your fun, now dominate but don't destroy him.
If the oppo still can't handle him, then ask the oppo skipper to replace their prop with a suitable replacement (based on safety) and if they can't, you have to go un-opposed. Spectre of Vowles and Wilbraham is always there.

ex-lucy
15-11-05, 15:11
static scrum?

a rare beast indeed ...... a scrum is a dynamic entity from inception to completion ... even uncontested scrums move about ..

contested scrums move ... ever so slightly a small push here and there sometimes but they move .... lucy v thp ...a slight shove in one direction affecting a slight readjustment then a bluff there ... then a slight extension of calf muscles and a light readjustment ...

Mike Whittaker
15-11-05, 15:11
static scrum?

a rare beast indeed ...... a scrum is a dynamic entity from inception to completion ... even uncontested scrums move about ..

contested scrums move ... ever so slightly a small push here and there sometimes but they move .... lucy v thp ...a slight shove in one direction affecting a slight readjustment then a bluff there ... then a slight extension of calf muscles and a light readjustment ...

It may be rare in your own experience Lucy but would suggest at C1 level it becomes a habit to have the scrum static before the ball is put in. When the ball comes in they can push straight.

Level 5 game on Saturday and scrums drove for several yards, safely. They did it square and parallel, mainly because ref had set them right and had them static before the ball came in.

It can be done. It has to be done!

ex-lucy
15-11-05, 16:11
sorry Mike, i was talking as an exprop ... that is, to me as a prop a scrum is rarely static but to a ref standing alongside it may appear static ... so i see what you mean...

i am gradually learning about perceptions as far as what advisors perceive and what goes on in reality ...

e.g. gaps in line outs, what goes on in a maul and a scrum and a ruck ...

Simon Thomas
15-11-05, 16:11
ex-Lucy

Yes I agree all scrums are inherently unstable, with bluff and double-bluff underway, but with equal and opposite forces being cancelled at the F-Rows in a parallel straight engagement, it does become static until the ball is thrown in.
A static scrum is a pre-requisite for the ball to be thrown in, and is a basic competence for any referee whatever his level,whether he be Society or Club.
Hence an early wheel or shove should be penalised, or a non-static scrum re-set.
This is a fundamental starting point and is essential to scrum management and safety.

Mike Whittaker
15-11-05, 16:11
i am gradually learning about perceptions as far as what advisors perceive and what goes on in reality ...



Oh dear! There is a moral somewhere about not attempting to dig when you are already in a hole...

Perhaps we should stop there before the pit collapses in all around...:rolleyes:

ex-lucy
15-11-05, 17:11
Mike, i suppose it is all relative .... myself i dont remember ever playing in a static scrum....

Simon Thomas
15-11-05, 17:11
what level did you play at ex-Lucy ?

ex-lucy
15-11-05, 17:11
what level did you play at ex-Lucy ?

various levels over 25 years ....

highest Midlands One ....

in my latter years at level 9.

didds
15-11-05, 20:11
Are you saying that if the ref thinks that the collapse was deliberated by the Aussie prop he should do nothing to stop the drive if the attackers could gain an advantage? Thus risking injury either to the prop who collapsed the scrum or to another, innocent, player?

err... no. I'm not sure how I managed to give that impression!



Is this not why we have the term "STE" for players in the the front row? Questions must be asked about the Aussie front row in terms of training and technique. If a player repeatedly cannot hold up a scrum where his opposite not behaving illegally then he surely is not STE.


My point entirely really just looked at from another angle. If said prop turns out as a test prop, then folds as soon as someone any use fronts up then can it be construed as anything but a "deliberate" collapse in that the team/mangement/national selectors have deliberately left the scrummage in an unstable situation?

In the particular episode Sheridan may be big and str9ing and may possibly be on ogf the leading props in the world (time will tell) - but in this regard he isn;t some sort of Mike Tyson/Jonah Lomu who is so out and out ahead of everybody else for his position/sport...


didds

didds
15-11-05, 20:11
for the record ATTR I agree with everything said.

didds

Mike Whittaker
15-11-05, 22:11
Mike, i suppose it is all relative .... myself i dont remember ever playing in a static scrum....

As long as you remember that whilst the ref is the sole judge of fact, the assessor knows where and when the ref is wrong... :D

Account Deleted
17-11-05, 10:11
As long as you remember that whilst the ref is the sole judge of fact, the assessor knows where and when the ref is wrong... :D

At our society meeting this week we looked at the issue of "lines" and who, if any one, took the ball into touch / in goal / touch in goal. It was interesting how many situations were answered incorrectly by District refs, WRU refs and by the assessors present. To see them struggle gave us "mortals" a bit of a laugh!;)

Mike Whittaker
17-11-05, 19:11
At our society meeting this week we looked at the issue of "lines" and who, if any one, took the ball into touch / in goal / touch in goal. It was interesting how many situations were answered incorrectly by District refs, WRU refs and by the assessors present. To see them struggle gave us "mortals" a bit of a laugh!;)


Enjoy the Laugh ATTR!! All societies have their law book experts who know every sub section and pica dot..

Just remember who has the last laugh though.... :D