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Thread: Law 20 Striking after the throw-in.

      
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    Default Law 20 Striking after the throw-in.

    Once the ball touches the ground in the tunnel, any front row player may use either foot to try to win possession of the ball. One player from the team who put the ball in must strike for the ball.

    I read the above law change and smiled, thinking about the many times we (front row) took the ball against the head, not just by pushing the opposition off the ball.

    One tactic was our loose head would engage at scrum and take it down. Referee would come around to sort out and stay there. Scrum half would put ball in at reset and our tight head would hook ball with his right foot as it entered the tunnel! No AR’s, so referee would often accept it as taken against the head, despite protestations.

    I predict next season we will see more competition and balls taken against the head at grassroots level. Referees should expect more than just a pushing contest.

    To other poachers turned gamekeeper, what tactics did you use to take the ball against the head?

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    Default Re: Law 20 Striking after the throw-in.

    In our 2nd XV we had five ways, of which the default at the start of the match was simply an eight-man push. We never considered deliberately collapsing, nor did we ever feed the ball in anything but in a technically contestable middle of the scrum. No point in letting the opposition put it in skew, eh? For the eight-man shove, we had no call, and the others were by name and not by number. Going all 'advanced' I'll use a numbered list for the other calls, corresponding in the first three cases to the shirt number:
    1. LHP: The easiest of the three, in many ways, although possibly illegal in terms of current heads above shoulders, since the THP and I would go so low that their hooker couldnt' strike for the ball. We used this one a lot if their hooker was competent.
    2. Hooker: Although I would bind on both props, my left arm would go under and my right arm over my two props. This would allow me, in leaner days, to swivel my body so that I could get my right foot near that of their THP.... Only used against much weaker opposition, which is to say about 80% of teams after the first quarter of the match. I'm not sure if it is illegal even now, since I did bind with both arms under or over! But not very safe, and never used to excess.
    3. THP: Somewhat similar to your example, but I would put my right foot up and back down in a place where the THP could use it to help control the ball back when we wanted good clean scrummage ball from their scrums. It did involve two front row players having a foot off the ground at the same time, but only very briefly, and my left leg at the time was strong.
    4. SH: Used only near their goal line. Rather than aim to win the ball, I would try to kick it and hope for a ricochet, or otherwise for them to lose control of their channels, with the call meaning that the SH should be aware of the chance of the ball shooting out of the back. Rarely used, as (a) I believed it to be illegal at the time {apparently that only applies to Sevens}, (b) only applicable to their 5 metre scrums in the first place and (c) only used against packs that none of the other methods would work on.


    Although I had decent enough control on our own ball to pick channel 1 or 2 as appropriate with my right foot, if I used my left foot on their ball when we started with an eight-man push, it was the job of the number 8 to decide whether to drive on after the first couple of metres had been gained, and more often than not we didn't.

    It should be obvious to anybody in the front five that all of these options required a very powerful second row too, and in my career as a hooker in my twenties the other four were often - usually even! - old 1st XV players with family and work commitments that meant that despite their skill and experience were playing several levels below what they could have if more able to commit to training, and in some cases were happy to let the younger bucks have their fun in the 1st XV.

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    Default Re: Law 20 Striking after the throw-in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blindpugh View Post
    To other poachers turned gamekeeper, what tactics did you use to take the ball against the head?
    hooker would stick his finger up his bum and get shit under his finger nail. then at scrum slip his bind and shove his finger under the oppo hooker's nose - then strike.

    didds

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    Default Re: Law 20 Striking after the throw-in.

    It is already the case (has always been the case even) that any front row player may hook the ball. That's not a change

    The change is that they MUST strike

    ”(b) Striking after the throw-in. Once the ball touches the ground in the tunnel , any front row
    player may use either foot to try to win possession of the ball"

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    Default Re: Law 20 Striking after the throw-in.

    TBH for the levels where this is actually aimed I don't expect we'll suddenly see real striking but rather a general wave of a foot at the ball which is now legally allowed to be almost underneath the hooker with the loose-head anyway now (that left shoulder thing)

    didds

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    Default Re: Law 20 Striking after the throw-in.

    Quote Originally Posted by didds View Post
    TBH for the levels where this is actually aimed I don't expect we'll suddenly see real striking but rather a general wave of a foot at the ball which is now legally allowed to be almost underneath the hooker with the loose-head anyway now (that left shoulder thing)

    didds
    Didds I agree.

    CrossRef correctly points out - The change is that they MUST strike

    ”(b) Striking after the throw-in. Once the ball touches the ground in the tunnel , any front row player may use either foot to try to win possession of the ball"

    Based on my experience as a hooker in 1970 - 80's if I struck for the ball before the ball touches the ground in the tunnel I would be penalised (can't remember if it was a free kick or penalty? OB will tell me).

    So to get my timing right as to when to strike I would tap and scrum half would put ball in. However, as opposition front row we would do all sorts through out game (but not Didds example ) to make it difficult for hooker so he couldn't strike or missed ball on his strike enabling us to take ball as it travelled through tunnel.

    If there is to be competition for the ball then I was predicting what could happen at grassroots level as games progress and one front row begins to dominate another. Difficult for referee to spot what is going on.

    I could be misinterpreting this law variation and how scrum will be refereed but thought I would open up for discussion. Happy to be proved wrong.
    Last edited by Blindpugh; 28-07-17 at 12:07.

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    Default Re: Law 20 Striking after the throw-in.

    I'd like to say _I_ didn't do that!

    but one hooker I played with did

    didds

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    Default Re: Law 20 Striking after the throw-in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blindpugh View Post
    Based on my experience as a hooker in 1970 - 80's if I struck for the ball before the ball touches the ground in the tunnel I would be penalised (can't remember if it was a free kick or penalty? OB will tell me).
    Before 1977 it was a PK, thereafter a FK.
    He trudg’d along unknowing what he sought,
    And whistled as he went, for want of thought.
    The Referee by John Dryden

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