View Full Version : Pillars and Feeds
I have always reffed the establishment of pillars on the sides of rucks as obstruction, but yet I see this all the time in the Guiness Premiership....is it okay at the Professional level but not community?
Also, I thought there was supposed to be a crackdown on scrum feeds? Why even bother having scrums if the team putting in will always win....
The pillar is probably offside to be pedantic in that he will not be bound on yet his feet will be in front of the rear foot. What you have to decide is materiality; has his presence had an effect on the outcome? Clearly if he attempts to play an opposition player or the ball from that position then the answer will be yes. His mere presence may have affected the opposition's options in which case yes also.
I don't find it a problem. At the next opportunity I will advise that pillars I find standing in front of the backfoot will be liable for penalty for offside.
As to feeds into the scrum, it would be interesting to hear the views of the current generation of referee advisor/assessor/coaches who monitor premiership referees. I have heard the view that some just want the ball to get out of the scrum as soon as possible.
As far as 'pillars' go, I've got a similar view to Deeps. Generally they have little effect on play, so, although 'technically' being off-side I let it slide. But I will be talking to them, reminding them that they too have an off-side line, and I expect them to position themselves accordingly. Needless to say, if he's standing there so that he can step back, creating a gap for someone to use tight to the ruck, then no questions asked, ping him.
Feeding, I hate it too! Sometimes though (only occassionally), you may have two packs that are so woefully inadequate that it would be best to just play on if the ball just makes it in cleanly and everyone is still up! This of course is not a factor at premiership level, so there should be no excuse.
I think you need to speak to the pillars even if you judge they are not interfering. And if you find you are speaking to them more than a couple of times, penalise them (for ignoring your instructions, if nothing else!). If you don't, the street-wise ones will capitalise on the delay they can get away with. It is much better for them to get onside of their own free will than in response to your voice.
I dislike crooked feeds - it takes a lot of pressure off the hooker, and he is not entitled to that much advantage. The opposition are entitled to a fair contest. A scrum is not the equivalent of a free kick. In uncontested scrums, I would insist on a straight feed. If they cannot get it right when they have no chance of losing the ball, how can they at other times?
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