rugbyunion
Latest News:
Untitled Document

Future of the scrum
sbu (IP Logged)
04 November, 2018 14:13
Is there a time that we will see the end of hookers,props and even 2nd rows. Looking at scrums especially, we now see the inadequate laws allowing for scrum halfs to play the ball almost into the back row. This is similar to what we see in rugby league.
Can we see clubs and coaches selecting 8 back row players to form the scrum? I feel we will see it but will take an incredible leap of faith to change.

 
Re: Future of the scrum
Colonel1960 (IP Logged)
04 November, 2018 16:06
To be fair, this is my number 1 frustration in the game. every season we hear how the officials are going to clamp down on this, yet every year the feeding gets more blatant.
Am genuinely frustrated by this current crop of officials in general tbh, none of them officiating with common sense, and never made accountable for blatant errors either...
The game it is a changing

 
Re: Future of the scrum
Rinkadink (IP Logged)
04 November, 2018 16:17
I think 8 second rowers is more likely as international sides seem to be playing up to 5 now. Flankers didn't need to be the biggest in the past but seems like extra line out options and grunt for rucks/mauls is very much in fashion so seeing 6'6 120kg+ wing forwards is pretty common. Look at Exeter where Symmonds is a tiny 8 wedged between two monster flanks. Itoje/Lawes/etc playing backrow because of physique rather than position naturally suiting them.

Think there's a balance to be found there instead of pure size.

 
Re: Future of the scrum
Chief Fire Water (IP Logged)
04 November, 2018 17:14
Union is becoming more like League every year. The scrum wont be a skill anymore but just a way to restart the game.

 
Re: Future of the scrum
sbu (IP Logged)
04 November, 2018 17:29
Agree with all. I can see even now that 3 positions are potentially redundant. 2x prop and hooked. These could easily be replaced with 3 wing towards or no8s. Over the years the scrum will degenerate to the style seen in rugby league. The scrum is only now a restart after an offence. The team who puts the ball in now will always win the ball. Better off starting with a tap free kick.

 
Re: Future of the scrum
bris_rob (IP Logged)
05 November, 2018 08:51
I think it's way too early to mourn the death of the scrum. You lot must have very short memories if you cannot think back to last season and tell me that the role of a good front row is dead.

Our scrum is going a lot better this season purely because we have recruited better props and hookers. I'd dread to think what our scrum would be like if as some have suggested we play back-row forwards at prop and hooker.

Scrum-half's will get away with as much feeding as they can it's down to the ref to apply the law correctly. The current interpretation is that 'some' part of the ball must 'hit' the centreline of the tunnel as the ball goes in. That means if only the left-hand tip of the ball hits the centre, then it's a 'straight' feed.

People have been saying the scrum is dying for years now. I believe it is still going strong and not yet on life-support!

 
Re: Future of the scrum
SimonB (IP Logged)
05 November, 2018 09:28
Even with the non enforcement of the straight feed the scrum still plays a vital part in the game.It is a mechanism for winning penalties and often 3 points, and as we saw against Glos tries from a dominant scrum either off the back row or by pushover are alive and well.
So having a well drilled scrum is still essential. And those hardy props do a lot besides with their strength. Look at the lineouts and tackle rates around the fringes.
It is a travesty that hooking for the ball has virtually disappeared. If the law was enforced then the hooker would need to be in a position to hook rather than the 8 man shove which we now have. That adds a whole new skillset which has disappeared.
Any further reduction in the scrum confrontation would be the death knell for rugby union - for me anyway.

 
Re: Future of the scrum
AlexInSouthville (IP Logged)
05 November, 2018 11:09
Quote:
sbu
Agree with all. I can see even now that 3 positions are potentially redundant. 2x prop and hooked. These could easily be replaced with 3 wing towards or no8s. Over the years the scrum will degenerate to the style seen in rugby league. The scrum is only now a restart after an offence. The team who puts the ball in now will always win the ball. Better off starting with a tap free kick.

Disagree with this...it's rare to get a strike against the head, but that's not the same as the team putting the ball in always winning the ball.

It's still pretty common that the dominant team either wins the ball back through a penalty, or at worst, is able to disrupt the opposition and give them ball on the back foot. (even close to home, remember what Ealing did to us twice last year).

Also, starting with a tap free kick would make it near impossible to score from first phase, as thats an extra 4 or 5 forwards who are able to fan out into defensive line.

 
Re: Future of the scrum
Rich. (IP Logged)
05 November, 2018 15:10
Quote:
AlexInSouthville
Quote:
sbu
Agree with all. I can see even now that 3 positions are potentially redundant. 2x prop and hooked. These could easily be replaced with 3 wing towards or no8s. Over the years the scrum will degenerate to the style seen in rugby league. The scrum is only now a restart after an offence. The team who puts the ball in now will always win the ball. Better off starting with a tap free kick.

Disagree with this...it's rare to get a strike against the head, but that's not the same as the team putting the ball in always winning the ball.

It's still pretty common that the dominant team either wins the ball back through a penalty, or at worst, is able to disrupt the opposition and give them ball on the back foot. (even close to home, remember what Ealing did to us twice last year).

Also, starting with a tap free kick would make it near impossible to score from first phase, as thats an extra 4 or 5 forwards who are able to fan out into defensive line.

Agree as things currently stand but what we are starting to see a little bit more of (and about time!) is Japan RWC 2015 style scrummaging where the hooker makes a very quick and forceful 'hook' and the number 8 immediately picks up and run/passes to the Fly Half so as to negate any strong scrummaging from the opposition. That does not require such strong, scrummagign props for your put-ins - BUT they need to be strong enough so that every scrum for the opposition doesn't end up in a penalty/penalty try/yellow card etc. So there is a balance to be had and teams with front row players who can play like back row but also scrummage well (Rob Evans, Dane Coles etc) have a big advantage

As for size of back rows, yes England often play with a big unit but: (a) back row is a big weakness for England and Eddie Jones would love to have the smaller, quicker and more skillful options a side like Wales have; and (b) linked to that, England are one of a few exceptions here - Wales often have two 'lightweight' flankers playing, Hamish Watson was yet again simply everywhere and immense at the weekend for Scotland, there's the Aussies with Pocock and Hooper, and NZ etc etc. The general trend is for smaller flankers.

As for line-outs, it is often not the big heavy 2nd rows who jump. Wales at line out throw to Shingler and Tipuric (when playing) far more than to Jame Ball/Bradley Davies. So the need for big heavy 2nd rows is diminishing and it why Will Skelton lost so much weight over the summer (and is playing far better as a result by all accounts).

Put all that together and, compared with 15 years ago, back rows are far more athletic, as are many props and hookers and I agree we are starting to see packs where often three players are the type of player who 15 years ago would have played 7 and three or four of the others are the type who 15 years ago would have played 6. Add to that the fact players are generally fitter and more athletic and defences are tighter it can lead to games like our one against Glaws last week where far too much of the first half especially was player after player making 1 or 2 metres before an off-load or ruck and the next players making 1 or 2 metres (if that). The sort of game which starts to yet again make me feel that (as we can't make pitches bigger) we might need to reduce teams to 13 a side. That does not make it like League, in fact quite the opposite. It would allow more space to make it easier to gain ground and make a break, encourage smaller and quicker backs etc. Much of the game v Glaws resembled League (without the hopeful kick after 5 tackles) and something may need to change because players are only going to get fitter and better defensively. BUT I'm hoping the eventual reduction of tackle height to nipple level (as will happen) will help off-loads and smaller players and make a big difference and might allow us to keep it 15 aside.

 
Re: Future of the scrum
Rinkadink (IP Logged)
05 November, 2018 19:18
But...

Pocock = 6ft 115kg (18.1 stone)
Cane = 6'2 109kg (17.2 stone)
Shingler = 6'6 105kg (16.7 stone)
Lydiate = 6'4 112kg (17.9 stone)
(Jamie) Ritchie = 6'4 105kg (16.7 stone)

Even the "small" (by comparison?) Hamish Watson is 6'1 and over 16 stones so you're kind of proving my point regarding monster flankers? The trend is big backrow for sure, especially on the international stage.

I would hate to see union lower the tackle height to below the chest, it wouldn't resemble our game any more and make it impossible to defend mauls, pick and goes, etc. I don't think we need a reduction in players either. To be honest if those changes you're hoping come to pass I would likely just go and watch league only as they've refined what you're looking for over many years and will undoubtedly be a better product.

 
Re: Future of the scrum
Rich. (IP Logged)
05 November, 2018 21:48
I was talking relative height here - Watson is 6ft on the six Nations official site 6 1 on Wiki .....) But I can't even believe he is that tall (rugby teams for years have upped weight and height stats for their players) - but I guess it may appear he is smaller as the rest are so tall! But it is comparative height that counts and relative to the England back row Watson, James Davies, Michael Hooper etc are all of the smaller, niftier variety. Dan Lydiate who you mention is a good example because yes he is fairly tall and 'old skool' but he only played Saturday due to injuries (& perhaps guilt that he was on a part-central contract). He's now 3rd choice because of the new way of thinking.

There are a great variety of sizes but I wouldn't say 6ft 120 kg flankers are common. And although Itoje and Lawes can and have occasionally played 6 they are normally 2nd row even for England.

Yes I can believe Pocock is 6ft but he and Hooper together are a relatively small flank pairing.

I guess my point was that generally speaking IMO flankers are getting relatively smaller and more fast, agile and skilful. Neil Back took years to be accepted by England due to his size but Eddie Jones would have him now with not even a blink of an eye (or whatever the expression is!).


Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
We record all IP addresses on the Sportnetwork message boards which may be required by the authorities in case of defamatory or abusive comment. We seek to monitor the Message Boards at regular intervals. We do not associate Sportnetwork with any of the comments and do not take responsibility for any statements or opinions expressed on the Message Boards. If you have any cause for concern over any material posted here please let us know as soon as possible by e-mailing abuse@sportnetwork.net
 
 

Who is online?

Total users online:  

Most users online:  

Users on this site:  

Where are they?