[Law] Law Change Proposal - Scrum or FK option after Knock-on

CrouchTPEngage


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I was watching the England v SA game on Saturday with some friends. Often in such situations , they ask me (knowing I ref ) for explanations as to why a decision was given etc.
One question asked of me was "Why , after a South Africa knocked on do they get a chance to scrum with the fore-knowledge that they will win a PK with a high probability ?"

The rationale for this was :
1) New laws about goal-line drop-out were introduced with an eye to reducing the number of scrums and speeding the game up.
2) Focus-groups feedback is that the scrum is the area of the game that is unentertaining and hard to sell to a global audience - and often , the award of a PK is for a reason unfathomable to said audience.
3) Why should a team that knock-on be rewarded with an almost certain PK at the resulting scrum ?

In that 2nd half, England were being dominated in the scrum ( and the line-out ). So, if England knock-on, SA choose the scrum. i.e. SA are rewarded by being afforded an opportunity to deploy their scrum-as-a-weapon.
When SA knock-on, England might choose the FK option ( i.e. SA are not rewarded for knocking-on ).

Also, there is a tactical decision depending the the place of the knock-on : England may choose a scrum if its 5 meters out from SA's goal-line, to de-populate the defensive line.

As a side-effect, the game is made quicker and visually more appealing and sellable.
( I am cognizant that I may be half-accused of turning this into Rugby-League.)

What could possibly go wrong ?
 

Zebra1922


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England could easily choose to play the ball immediately out of the scrum and avoid any penalty from pressure. If they choose not to and their scrum is under pressure they run the risk of giving away a penalty. Up to them to adjust how they play in this situation . The law is fine.
 

dave_clark


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it's a tactical decision. SA (for example) may choose to go with a lumpy pack, to try and attack oppo scrums to win penalties or at least ensure the oppo don't get clean scrum ba;;. Others take the view that they'll select their weaker scrummagers, because of what else they bring to the party.

take the 2019 WC final* as an example. England started with Vunipola and Lawes at 1 and 5. Significantly better around the park than Marler and Kruis who were on the bench. And they got dicked at scrum time. When Marler and Kruis came on, scrums almost immediately tightened up and England actually won a couple of penalties. not that it helped the final result of course, but had we been on top in the scrums in the first half who knows what would have happened.

i think that's what happened at any rate. i missed the game live as i was in for hand surgery under general anaesthetic that day (it was originally scheduled for the Monday but was brought forward, which I agreed to assuming that we'd lose the semi to NZ), and when i watched it shortly afterwards i was still fairly ripped on codeine.
 

crossref


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As previously discussed, I would go the other way and reduce the sanction on a ko , rather than increase it , and trial a law change that said that if no advantage is gained from a knock on, then play on

I guess these two ideas could be combined though, that might make a good trial as well
 

SimonSmith


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1) New laws about goal-line drop-out were introduced with an eye to reducing the number of scrums and speeding the game up.
and because the perception was that a 22 was too much reward in some circumstances
2) Focus-groups feedback is that the scrum is the area of the game that is unentertaining and hard to sell to a global audience - and often , the award of a PK is for a reason unfathomable to said audience.
There remains a significant population who think otherwise, A lot of rugby is difficult for people who don't know the game.
3) Why should a team that knock-on be rewarded with an almost certain PK at the resulting scrum ?
Stats please.

As I said in the other thread,a FK is useless outside the 22m. What will teams do? Stick up a bomb, or drive forwards into contact. Hardly match spectacle enhancing...
 

tim White


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Can I put in a word for the community level of the game?; how are we going to keep players of all shapes and sizes if we keep changing the laws to suit TV rugby? If we don't keep the community game we lose clubs and players that feed into the higher levels.

At my level Forwards love scrummaging and would probably not play at all if scrums are phased out. I just wish they would speed things up on TV rather than let them have a rest before every scrum- then the argument would go away and we can get on with OUR game.
 

Marc Wakeham


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Leave the scrum alone just referee it properly.
 
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Jarrod Burton


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My problem with being able to select FK or scrum is in the 79th minute, White knocks on, less than a score in it, blue captain buggers about for 10-30 seconds until time expires then selects FK, taps and kicks it out for end of match. People who say it wouldn't happen only need to watch how long some teams take to select a shot or kick to touch from a PK to see that it will definitely happen.

A final opportunity for a contest (cause that's what the match is about according to the principles) turned into farce all because one scrum is weaker than the other.

FK's allow essentially zero opportunity for contest by the opposition team and that's why scrums are better. Start enforcing the time limits for setting and stop resetting endlessly and they will be fine.
 
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CrouchTPEngage


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Some good points ( some not so good or. I dont get them )

Interesting read reading https://www.the42.ie/scrums-time-taken-world-rugby-5049820-Mar2020/

To the point about booting it out with a FK ; This already happens, the law-change would just speed this up and just remove the 1 scrum ( and resets possibly ) from the game. Last Saturday, South Africa knocked on in their 22, they won the PK at the scrum and then, from the resulting PK, they boot the ball long into touch. Same outcome ( although they get the lineout of course ). Point is the ball is returned to open play eventually. So isn't it just speeding up the game so we get the ball back into open play quicker ?

( FWIW - Personally, I do enjoy the spectacle of the scrum. I am biased. I know what to look for. I am invested in the game. So maybe playing devil's advocate here a little but I want to broaden the appeal and increase the audience of our game )
 
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