Front Row

Simon49


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Our first team recently played in a league game where the opposition had a very experience former pro rugby, loose head prop. Used to competing at a much higher level. He scummaged in a way that led to our tight head having to leave the field injured and requiring a couple of weeks for recovery. The biggest issue was him boring in and lifting up or pulling the tight head under. This was very dangerous, however, the referee did not identify any issues. The dark arts of the front row is the usual response, Other teams have also lost front row players following games against the same team. Any suggestions about how to raise concerns about this to avoid further injuries to valuable front row players.
 

crossref


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it's an interesting question.
It may be that the only truly effective action you can take is tell the referee that you consider the scrum unsafe and need to go to uncontested.
The referee wiill have no choice but to call uncontested scrums
Depending on the competition regs (and the referee's interpretation of the regs) you may have to lose a player (man-off).

This will
1 - most importantly ensure the safety of your player, given you genuinely beleive the scrum to be unsafe)
2 - cause quite a stir and post game post-mortem post game with the league organisers. Reports will be written and conclusions drawn - which is what you want to happen, right?
 

Simon49


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Thank you. We have another four months before the return fixture and different players may be involved. If we have a similar outcome, then we can review. As you have indicated player safety comes first, a different ref would hopefully be aware of the issues caused by the techniques being used. Hopefully no one else will be injured in the time being, as we know how precious front row players are for all clubs. Don't want to appear to be whingers.
 

chbg


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I would raise it as a putative issue (we are concerned that [actions] might be dangerous) with fellow clubs in the league and then with your CB. Otherwise you may be just throwing other LHs under the wheels for the next 4 months. It would be worth ensuring that the level of LH injuries is not just anecdotal, but is backed up by some data. With luck the warning shot (for it should be no more than that) will reduce the incidence of LH injuries against this team. I would copy to the Referee Society too (from your Club Chairman) so that they can consider themselves whom they may appoint to the other team's matches. But if it occurs again in your next match in 4 months, then Crossref's answer is a s good as any (particularly if you are not desperate for league points). I think that you are better off in this latter action having reported it to the CB first; but some may take that adversely. Concerted action by a number of clubs will always be better than going it alone.
 

Ciaran Trainor


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Very poor from the loose head and very disappointing also.
I assume most "front row Union" members would also be horrified by this.
In my experience most good/experienced props who come up against inferior opposition actually help and tell the ref there is a problem rather than trying to injure an opponent.
I would assume at least 80% of refs have never played in the front row, so especially in the weeds do not assume the ref can spot what is going on unless it's clear and obvious.
As the others say have an official word with other clubs and the county to ensure it is not just anecdotal and make sure all other refs are aware of a potential issue..
Safety no 1 priority
 

dave_clark


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yep. when i played (a long time ago, and not for very long), i was almost always against someone much better than me. and almost without fail they'd only use a few of their tricks at first, and introduce new ones when i figured out a way of countering the first ones.

and they'd always talk me through it in the bar afterwards.

then again, i never played first team league rugby so perhaps it's a different dynamic in that environment.
 

Simon49


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Thanks for the input, will raise at next county meeting and also highlight to society. Thanks and enjoy Christmas.
 

AlanT


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Talk to ref society, but not as a complaint.
 
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