20.2 - C) Hooker in a position to hook ?

jdeagro


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I'm just trying to brush up on all the laws of Scrums (especially the weird possibilities involving scrums), when I came across this particular law:

[LAWS](c) Hooker in a position to hook. Until the ball is thrown in, the hooker must be in a position to hook the ball. The hookers must have both feet on the ground, with their weight firmly on at least one foot. A hooker’s foremost foot must not be in front of the foremost foot of that team’s props.
Sanction: Free Kick[/LAWS]

I'm a little confused at the last sentence which I bolded in red (especially because when I'm a player my position is hooker.) I know my foremost foot (my striking foot) always starts ahead of my props feet. It's almost not possible for my feet to be placed otherwise, based on the low crouched position my props get into (with their feet back and their legs 90 degrees to the ground.) Is this really what the law is referring to, or am I just misunderstanding the word foremost or the law entirely?

Thanks,
-Jon
 

Dixie


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I think you've got it pretty accurately. At the setup, pretty much every hooker's right foot is in the channel, almost crossed over his left. If I see that as they cuddle each other prior to the CTPE call, I let them know that they are fine to start off like that but the foot must be withdrawn prior to the feed. A few don't bother; it's a caution followed by FK.
 

didds

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When you set up, set up with split feet ie striking foot ahead of your left, standing foot.

get your props top set up with their inside feet adjacent to your feet as you have set up.

You now fulfill the wording of the law, the TH is slightly advanced (we're no talking half a metre here - a few inches at most) which somehow helps stabilise the scrum. It does leave scrums square and stable before anybody queries it - or at least more than reasonably so - it also helps counteract to some degree (somehow!) the natural loose head wheel.

didds
 

BikingBud


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I think the difference is that hookers do not seem to be taught to hook as the old school. Hookers now stand much straighter and probably don't adjust position for their own ball or the opposition put in all seems very alien to me.

Not much point when it all gets fed but as an older chap it was always good to find an opponent whose feet were square and enjoy pinning him then stepping over the ball he could see but not move to get near. Sometimes gave them a cheery thanks or even a kiss on occasions.

Just for fun don't' you know
 

didds

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The laws today require all players to be square on... slanted hookers should get pinged strictly speaking.

didds
 

ChrisR

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The purpose of 20.2 (c) is to ensure a tunnel. It could be worded differently.
 

BikingBud


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The laws today require all players to be square on... slanted hookers should get pinged strictly speaking.

didds

Hi didds could you lead to me to that law asserting the fact as I cannot find it?

You can still be in a strong pushing position with forward power but placing your feet in good hooking position, a lot of weight through the left leg achieves this quite effectively. Hookers not able to do this often find problems and can be the cause of collapsed scrums as they try to shuffle their feet and hook the ball from a weak square position. Especially as the opposing hooker has now set up a lot squarer and dynamically, legally disrupts with a co-ordinated drive. It was also possible and often easy once the oppo was set in a weak position to just take the ball with the outside of the right foot.

This is the fair competition for the ball that is being taken away by consistent and unpenalised feeding.

BB
 

Taff


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The purpose of 20.2 (c) is to ensure a tunnel. It could be worded differently.
Putting it like that Merauder, it makes perfect sense. If you think about it, the 2 props have to have their feet "in a position to shove". The laws would look daft if the Hooker was allowed to have his feet in front of his FR team mates.
 

didds

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BB... good call! TBH it is one fo those things I've come to accept as "true"!

maybe because the requirement for the scrum to be to be square and stable. Maybe because in Scrum Factory CPD courses we coach players to be square on - but that is predominantly aimed at coaches of children and youth and certainly with safety in mind.

As it is I totally agree that a hooker that is totally square on will struggle to get much "reach" with a striking foot.

In checking law 20 i did however find this

20.8(g) Twisting, dipping or collapsing. Front row players must not twist or lower their bodies, or
pull opponents, or do anything that is likely to collapse the scrum, either when the ball is
being thrown in or afterwards.
Sanction: Penalty kick

So maybe for some more pedantic refs (nobody on here, naturally ;-) twisting too much by the hooker might attract attention?

didds
 

Phil E


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I always warn front rows to keep their feet out of the tunnel until the ball is in. If they don't it has a tenancy to come straight back out of the tunnel.

If the hooker is allowed to put his right foot forward and left, such that it is the first thing the ball hits on entering the scrum, then there isn't a fair contest and I warn them once, then ping them for foot up.
 

Davet

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Very early in my career I happend to hear a father explain to his son (both played THP) that on the oppo ball he should put is inside foot forward, blocking the tunnel, - because as he explained, "refs never notice".

I then reffed the father about a week later and pinged for exactly that... he was very surprised and assumed i must be well up on scrums, and was as good as gold for the rest of the game....:hap:
 
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