Picked up the following from PlanetRugby about six weeks ago. Not quite about wheeling but what does it tell us? Two whiny coaches or is there something in it?
“Saracens boss Mark McCall and his Ospreys counterpart Sean Holley have both expressed their frustration at the state of officiating around scrums.
McCall was the happier of the two coaches after seeing his team claim a 16-13 Heineken Cup win at the Liberty Stadium on Friday but the duo were singing from the same hymn sheet with regards to the set piece.
Referee Jerome Garces showed yellow cards to Ospreys prop Paul James and Saracens hooker Schalk Brits for scrum separate offences - much to the bemusement of the six international forwards in the respective front rows - and awarded a steady stream of penalties and free-kicks at the set-piece in a tit-for-tat fashion, disrupting the rhythm of a brutal contest.
Wales prop James was sin-binned just before the interval for failing to bind, while former Springbok Brits' yellow card was handed out for an early engagement.
"Schalk's sin-binning was the first time I have seen someone sin-binned for early engagement. The scrums were carnage tonight," said McCall.
"In the old days you used to practice scrum moves but coaches have stopped doing that as there is a free-kick or penalty at every scrum so there is no need for those moves." “
Simon, I don’t think that answers Taff’s question. In fact, it demonstrates how loosely the laws can be applied such that it’s a mystery and a crap shoot as to what is happening.
An assessor would have to substantiate such claims. Unfortunately journalists do not.
He trudg’d along unknowing what he sought,
And whistled as he went, for want of thought.
The Referee by John Dryden
Here is an extract from RFU Level 5 Protocols :
• Referees to ensure that the scrum is square and stationary prior to the throw in.
• If a scrum wheels quickly on its fulcrum, the referee must be absolutely convinced it is as a result of an illegal/unsafe wheel. Teams who do this are liable to penalty.
• A scrum will not be “turned over” unless the front row wheels more than 90 degrees.
If one or more of the laws I listed has been broken, if clear & obvious and with a material outcome, the referee should penalise accordingly and consider additional sanctions if necessary. No mystery for me on a Sunday afternoon when refffing, nor the referees I watch each Saturday.
I fully agree that Elite scrums are often poorly refereed in the interests of showbiz rugby, but that is not the case in Levels 3-9 in my experience.
From Simon’s post, an extract from RFU Level 5 Protocols :
“• If a scrum wheels quickly on its fulcrum, the referee must be absolutely convinced it is as a result of an illegal/unsafe wheel. Teams who do this are liable to penalty.”
And the point being is: What defines an “illegal/unsafe” wheel?
I'm not trying to be aukward; I'm just trying to make sense of something we all see but just doesn't seem to fit in with the lawbook.
so how do we explain PKs being given when scrums get wheeled gently (ie not "whipped" round) and when all the props feet are "in a position to shove", and the arms raised and twisted secondary signal.
Unless it's a binding issue
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