Not taking an engagement?

Taffy


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This from Saturday. Quite bizarre. Two scrums in succession I ping White for an early push. After the match a irritated prop from white tells me that actually Blue were relaxing and not "taking the engagement".

I know there used to be a hit and that the law changes have altered that, but in my experience at my level, after "SET" both teams tend to try and push a bit and then it quickly settles down. At which point we have the feed.

Any thoughts?
 

Pegleg

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Well there was not hit the law did not change there. We (well the elite not us grassroots) were told to enforce the actual law. Sides can't "step away" which is what I guess the player was claiming. That is likely to destabalise the scrum and is to be watched for. If done "well" it can be hard to spot. It happened before the change to the engagement and the emphasis on not allowing the hit was made.
 

Adam


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The scrum below the professional level can be made better by having a closer gap. If they don't have any space to hit then they won't. During a game, I would say to the props, "3 don't take a step forward, 1 don't step backwards until the ball is in".

When you say 'set', watching the feet can potentially be more useful than watching the upper body engagement (especially now they're pre-bound).
 

Phil E


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In my PMB I always say, "on set, just lean on the other team, there's no hit, no drive, no push, until the ball is in".


"They're not taking the hit (engagement) Sir"
"What did we agree at the PMB?"


If one team steps back, that's different, but I have never seen it happen. I have seen them driven back by a "hit" they are not expecting; but that takes us back to the scenario I just stated above.
 

Blackberry


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Phil has nailed it on the head, if we condense the scrummaging instructions right down, after the "set", the laws require the players to lean, nothing else. It doesn't sound right, saying "lean", but it is what the laws are saying. You need to communicate with players in ways they will be able to use during the heat of the battle. To nip "hits" or early shoves in the bud, I say "the contest doesn't start till the ball leaves the scrum half's hands" and this seems to work well, it is easily understood, easily remembered and easily gauged.
 

TheBFG


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Coaches hat on :redface: we have a call where we'll step back at the scrum to try and win a FK for the oppos driving through the mark, trust me it happens!

Refs hat on, if you think a side is doing it deliberately, ping um for "not being in a position to push"
 

Pegleg

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Of course sides do (occasionally) try to win a PK by stepping back. We used to do it from time to time. It is rare but you do need to be aware of it.
 

ChrisR

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Even without putting the shove on, a scrum will exert some forward pressure because they are all leaning forward, feet behind their center of gravity, and this pressure has to be balanced by the ops or the scrum will move forward.

Prior to CBS props would crouch with their weight over their toes, the scrum held back by the hooker, and drop into the opps so they were extended and in a full pushing position, thereby getting the "hit". If they use the same technique with CBS then there is not enough forward movement and they must shuffle their feet back to get in a good drive posture. This is when an opponent who sets up better and lower will move the scrum forward without trying to.

If a team is giving ground on the "Set" because of poor technique, ie. bent over at the waist instead of crouched, feet under their hips instead of in a pushing position, then FKing the opponent is unfair and won't solve the problem. Allow some movement off the mark and more time for the weaker side to get feet positioned for a balanced scrum.
 

Na Madrai


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For what it is worth, at the first scrum of every match in which I officiate, once the locks are in place and before the 'crouch', I inform both packs that every scrum is uncontested until the ball leaves the scrum half's hands. All forwards are familiar with the term 'uncontested' and there can be no arguing.

Seems to work exceptionally well.

Incidently,as stated, a hit was never allowed in rugby football and did not occur more than once in any match I refereed at any level at any time!

NM
 

Browner

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The "setting" is the rugby equivalent of a tug-of-war style 'taking of the strain' , the ball feed commences the collective power surge , not before.
 
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