Prop collapsing the scrum

Stu10


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I feel I'm very inexperienced refereeing the front row, and thankfully it tends to be more straight forward at age-grade, but I was left puzzled during the recent Eng v SA game. Focusing on the linked examples, it appears to me that green LHP is pulling white down based on the angle of his arm, his elbow pointing straight down, and white's shirt clearly being pulled down towards the ground. However, the penalty went against white in the first example and we had a rare completed scrum in the second but the front row did collapse.

What picture do you look for when looking at the props. Is green allowed to pull down like this and the responsibility is on white to stay up?

 

Phil E


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Personally I am looking for elbows up.
If the elbow is pointing to the ground then the force exerted is generally going in the same direction.

However at the top level this "may" not be true as they are a lot stronger, but at my level I would have given that PK to white.
 

tim White


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Elbow down equals pulling down in my book too. But look at English prop leg position/angle -too far back to keep it up; I suspect that was why he got PK.
 

Stu10


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Elbow down equals pulling down in my book too. But look at English prop leg position/angle -too far back to keep it up; I suspect that was why he got PK.

It seems the first example may be unclear to us based on responses above, but I should be watching the elbow angle and the feet placement. In the second one I would say there is an obvious tug downwards by green followed immediately by the collapse, which I feel is clear for my understanding of cause/effect even if a penalty was not awarded in this case.
 

didds

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Part of this all possibly is that MV has form for being a poor scrummager. So there is a mental thought - perhaps psychological - that he is likely to be conceding a PK. So when something happens maybe some refs are predisposed to pinging him.
 

Phil E


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I think the penalty was actually for being the first to release his bind because the referee says "arm down"?
 

Stu10


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Part of this all possibly is that MV has form for being a poor scrummager. So there is a mental thought - perhaps psychological - that he is likely to be conceding a PK. So when something happens maybe some refs are predisposed to pinging him.
Both these examples were Will Stuart.

I think the penalty was actually for being the first to release his bind because the referee says "arm down"?

You are correct, ref does say that... I would say things have fallen apart at that point and he is avoiding face in mud and they were never going to regain height. @Phil E how would you view this in a grass roots game?
 

Phil E


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You are correct, ref does say that... I would say things have fallen apart at that point and he is avoiding face in mud and they were never going to regain height. @Phil E how would you view this in a grass roots game?

I would reset telling them both to keep their elbows up.
If it went down again in the same way I would penalise green for elbow to floor, citing my warning just given.
 

number11


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We had a presentation on this at the last society meeting.

If LHP was flat on the ground, penalize the THP. But if both go heads first down (as in this case) then penalize LHP.
 

BikingBud


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I see that as Eng THP trying to stay up and square in both, see elbow position. If the THP is down and over the LHP they are generally trying to, keep the chest closed, squeeze them across and tuck them inside, boring in, see David Soles' cropped shirt sleeve in the early 90's as a protest to "illegal" England scrummaging.

Not only is green elbow down but also in the second clip there is a noticeable tug🤨
 

Camquin

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Where is the law that says you have to be able to stay up if the opposition is cheating.

The offences are not binding correctly.
Not maintaining your bind
Intentionally collapsing.

Frankly, in the name of getting on with the game, the elite refs waste a lot of time.
Warn them in the prematch brief.

Then whistle immediately the prob binds on the arm or with elbow down and give the penalty against them.
The prop will only ever do it once.
And probably will not even do it once if you have refereed them before.
 
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