SA v Eng scrum dominance

Stu10


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OK, I've gone there, the Eng v SA game at the weekend. Arguably a couple of contentious tries, but I don't want to focus on that, or intentionally focus on the referee, but I do wonder about the scrums. (This is intended to be separate from my question in the scrum sub-forum).

I'll agree that SA have a monster scrum, and that it is stronger than the England scrum; but it almost looked liked men vs boys at times. As I recall, SA also destroyed the Eng scrum in the last WC Final.

This is what troubles me... the Eng scrum is not terrible and have held their own vs pretty much all other nations. I don't recall seeing SA take apart other team's scrums the same way they dismantled the Eng scrum. Am I mistaken with this thinking? Do SA have a secret method that is double effective vs England. As a ref, do you wonder and scrutinise when a scrum contest is more one-sided than expected or just go with it?
 

Dickie E


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Do SA have a secret method that is double effective vs England. As a ref, do you wonder and scrutinise when a scrum contest is more one-sided than expected or just go with it?
to some degree I would rely on the non-dominant team telling me if there is some skullduggery going on
 

menace


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to some degree I would rely on the non-dominant team telling me if there is some skullduggery going on
I would never "rely" on anything a FR is telling me during a game...particularly not one that is being mullered!
They'll claim anything to get you doubting your decisions.
 

Dickie E


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maybe 'rely' is the wrong word. 'take into account'?
 

DocP


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No front row is going to admit what is going on from either side, not the full truth anyway. If someone is getting pinged they will always plead their innocence and blame another party and the other side will always defend their actions as if they have done nothing wrong. It is just the front row way (I am ex front row).

At the top level it is very hard not to just award the dominant scrum unless there is something CaO.

I have not seen the game yet, I will probably get around to it tonight (dreading it from what I have heard) but what I have witnessed with the trend of the England FR they seem to be prioritising mobility rather than set piece. This moves away from our traditional DNA but comes apart as soon as you come across set piece specialists.
 

Phil E


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No front row is going to admit what is going on from either side, not the full truth anyway. If someone is getting pinged they will always plead their innocence and blame another party and the other side will always defend their actions as if they have done nothing wrong. It is just the front row way (I am ex front row).

My experience is that FR love to tell you about everything they did, that you missed, in the bar afterwards over a pint or two.

They then look amazed when you ping them for it a week or two later when you ref them again :ROFLMAO:
 

DocP


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My experience is that FR love to tell you about everything they did, that you missed, in the bar afterwards over a pint or two.

They then look amazed when you ping them for it a week or two later when you ref them again :ROFLMAO:
Should never give away the trade secrets ;)

I have been asked to do demos at our ref's training and I still don't give away everything
 

didds

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My experience is that FR love to tell you about everything they did, that you missed, in the bar afterwards over a pint or two.

They then look amazed when you ping them for it a week or two later when you ref them again :ROFLMAO:
that just means you were wrong two weeks ago and are still wrong!

;-)

didds (ex prop. Obvs)
 

Marc Wakeham


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At the top level it is very hard not to just award the dominant scrum unless there is something CaO.
But you need to ask: How / why are they dominant? I have a recording of a discussion between a LHP at a scrum 5 and a Referee it goes like this:

A scrum is messy and is reset
LHP: "Ref he's binding on my arm"
Ref: "I'm not bothered about that"
THP again binds on the arm and twists Try awarded. Material effect? You bet there was.
 

didds

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I have been asked to do demos at our ref's training and I still don't give away everything
that's well done you - but why don't refs just attend a RFU scrum factory course/whatever is in place these days (or the equivalent under their NGB obviously)

eg

eg
"Description
The Principles of Scrummaging CCD aims to increase the number of players able to play in the scrum, particularly the front row. This course has a blend of theory and practical and will look at exploring England Rugby’s principles of scrummaging, looking at recent developments in scrum coaching and match officiating. The course is designed to help coaches, match officials and players to understand individual and collective techniques as well as position specific conditioning, developing these in a fun and engaging way."


That way they wont get one possibly skewed version of what is happening, and WILL be versed in what their NGB is requiring ALL of its coaches to adhere to. Id imagine that a suitable CPD could be delivered at a normal refs evening if requested etc.

didds
 
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DocP


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thats well done you - but why dolnt refs just attend a RFU scrum factory course/whatever is in place these days 90or the equivalent under their NGB obviously)
I have done the scrum factory course as part of a coaching badge. It tells you nothing about what is going on in the FR. Even how the FR binds up is incorrect. It maybe what they want to coach but it is not what happens on a match day, especially at grassroots.
The only way to really find out is to get a seasoned FR player to one side with a few pints in him and let them explain or even better give a demo in the bar.
Scrum factory is all about how to coach the FR. Tower of Power, bind up with all shoulders square etc. This goes out the window as soon as a prop takes the field as an adult, if they don't they get mullered at the first outing.
The society actually gave a better training session by getting the FR refs in the room to give up some of their "secrets" and telling others what to look for. It is complex, as a FR sometimes I don't even know what I am doing mid-scrum and any action I take is reactionary based on feel of the situation and how to get one up on my oppo.

But you need to ask: How / why are they dominant? I have a recording of a discussion between a LHP at a scrum 5 and a Referee it goes like this:

A scrum is messy and is reset
LHP: "Ref he's binding on my arm"
Ref: "I'm not bothered about that"
THP again binds on the arm and twists Try awarded. Material effect? You bet there was.
But then I would of said that binding on the arm is CaO. I have pinged many a FRP for this. If it has no material I will warn. If a prop complains I would then definitely look out for it at the next scrum. At no point should the ref "not be bothered" by it. It is also in the law book where props should bind so the law is there to back you up.

A lot of this stems back to the days in the not too distance past under "crouch, touch, pause, engage" where the side, in the professional game, who lost the hit immediately collapse the scrum. It all happened so fast there was no way of telling who did what so the preference was given to the dominant scrum under the presumption the weaker scrum was trying to protect any chance they had of not taking a step back. What we have now is less spectacular, everyone loved the smash on engage, but more stable and easier to identify any shenanigans. The hard part is trying to read and interpret what you see in front of you sometimes within a split second and no chance of a replay like on the telly.
 

didds

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But you need to ask: How / why are they dominant? I have a recording of a discussion between a LHP at a scrum 5 and a Referee it goes like this:

A scrum is messy and is reset
LHP: "Ref he's binding on my arm"
Ref: "I'm not bothered about that"
THP again binds on the arm and twists Try awarded. Material effect? You bet there was.
Yup.

Watch the SA speedy winger's first try against England. Theres a very nifty piece of blocking done on slade by Ardense - maybe Slade would have got to the ball catcher, maybe not - but Ardense ensures he wont. Net result Ardense scores (very well too!) 75 metres later. Was the block material - you betcha !



(this is not a Rassie attempt. it is what it is. But almost EVERYTHING at this level is material !)
 

Marc Wakeham


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I have done the scrum factory course as part of a coaching badge. It tells you nothing about what is going on in the FR. Even how the FR binds up is incorrect. It maybe what they want to coach but it is not what happens on a match day, especially at grassroots.
The only way to really find out is to get a seasoned FR player to one side with a few pints in him and let them explain or even better give a demo in the bar.
Scrum factory is all about how to coach the FR. Tower of Power, bind up with all shoulders square etc. This goes out the window as soon as a prop takes the field as an adult, if they don't they get mullered at the first outing.
The society actually gave a better training session by getting the FR refs in the room to give up some of their "secrets" and telling others what to look for. It is complex, as a FR sometimes I don't even know what I am doing mid-scrum and any action I take is reactionary based on feel of the situation and how to get one up on my oppo.


But then I would of said that binding on the arm is CaO. I have pinged many a FRP for this. If it has no material I will warn. If a prop complains I would then definitely look out for it at the next scrum. At no point should the ref "not be bothered" by it. It is also in the law book where props should bind so the law is there to back you up.

A lot of this stems back to the days in the not too distance past under "crouch, touch, pause, engage" where the side, in the professional game, who lost the hit immediately collapse the scrum. It all happened so fast there was no way of telling who did what so the preference was given to the dominant scrum under the presumption the weaker scrum was trying to protect any chance they had of not taking a step back. What we have now is less spectacular, everyone loved the smash on engage, but more stable and easier to identify any shenanigans. The hard part is trying to read and interpret what you see in front of you sometimes within a split second and no chance of a replay like on the telly.
Why were refs allowing the hit? I was not allowed then either. Briam Moore had a good Idea that I tried a ouple of times. After "The Hit" you just tell the "hit winners" to move back to the mark before the ball is allowed to come in. They soon get bored.
 

DocP


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I'm not actually sure how the hit evolved to what it was in CTPE. Watching classic clips the scrum always seems a lot less structured. With the FR coming together before the rest of the pack had arrived at times. The hit was always in play when I started adult rugby and even at U18 (1997), if I can remember that far back, there was some form of hit for dominance for what good it was worth. Even under the current engagement laws the hit has come back. If you look at how scrums were when they first came in there were a lot of shoulder touching on the bind call. Now there is clear separation and a hit as they come together. Even at lower levels where I ref the FRs are managing to keep a gap to have bit of a hit.
I suppose it is just what FRs like. I know I sure did. One of the reasons I stopped playing as much was the removal of the hit. As a smaller prop it took away the ability to get up on a bigger prop who could just manhandle me.
Initially under the new laws as a ref I would overlook the lack of gap as it wasn't really material and for a Ex B XV pack they wouldn't have the strength or training time to be able to keep that gap once they are bound onto the oppo's shirt as their weight would be forward with no lock or back row holding them back. But even just this last weekend at a level 10 match the gap was present so all sides seem to have adjusted.

Initial issue with asking the scrum to move after the engage would be feet position, especially if you have a weaker scrum. Any movement in the planted feet would just destabilise everything. To move a FR back you'd have to get the BR, then 2R to move first. They all have to do that in unison and get their feet back in the right position. This would seem impossible to me and lead to an increased level of danger and collapsed scrums.

We also have to remember, sometimes one scrum is just better than the other. Whether that is through strength or just technique. We just have to do our best in interpreting what is in front of us. Easier said than done though
 

Marc Wakeham


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But you don't let the ball come in until it is stable and on the mark. The idiots soon get bored.

Alternatively FK it first time. PK second. and Card third. I think they might learn.
 

didds

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Initial issue with asking the scrum to move after the engage would be feet position, especially if you have a weaker scrum. Any movement in the planted feet would just destabilise everything. To move a FR back you'd have to get the BR, then 2R to move first. They all have to do that in unison and get their feet back in the right position. This would seem impossible to me and lead to an increased level of danger and collapsed scrums.
100% agree.
 

didds

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But you don't let the ball come in until it is stable and on the mark. The idiots soon get bored.

Alternatively FK it first time. PK second. and Card third. I think they might learn.
But you better be sure who is at fault. naturally. :D
 
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