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4749 Topic: New scrum engagement

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1258
New scrum engagement
May 08, 2013, 21:17:26

This would seem to be a very good idea. Bound to reduce the number of collapses and resets as well as the impact on players yet still allows a contest. Now if they would only start regulating the scrummie put-ins. Knock-ons have become nothing more than an automatic turn-over and there are rarely any tightheads. Hooking is a lost art.


Scrum trial goes global

 May 08,2013
Written by: Editor

The International Rugby Board Council has announced the implementation of a global trial of the "crouch, bind, set" scrum engagement sequence from next season.

The sequence is aimed at enhancing player welfare by reducing impact on engagement by up to 25 per cent in elite competition. 

Click here for an example of the sequence.

Approval of the sequence on player welfare grounds, is coupled with a call for Game-wide commitment from law-makers, match officials, coaches and players to ensure a fair and positive attitude is applied to deal with scrum issues facing the elite level of the Game. 

Implementation will begin at the start of the next season in both hemispheres and follows extensive evaluation of the sequence during the recent IRB Pacific Rugby Cup, which indicated the possible delivery of a more stable platform leading to fewer resets and more successful scrums. 

In a revision of the 'crouch, touch, set' engagement sequence currently being trialled, props will be expected to bind using their outside arm after the referee has called "bind" in the sequence. 

The front rows will maintain the bind until the referee calls "set". At that point, the two packs will engage. 

The process was overseen and recommended to IRB Council by the specialist IRB Scrum Steering Group (featuring Union scrum experts) as a potential enhancement to the scrum mechanics after an extensive process of testing and [removed]ysis at all levels of the Game within the unprecedented IRB funded Scrum Forces Project run by the University of Bath in conjunction with the RFU

"The scrum is a fundamental and dynamic part of our Game. It is important that we continue to promote the best possible player welfare standards and this trial process is about putting players first and delivering a reduction of the forces on engagement at elite level, which could have significant positive effects on long-term player welfare," said IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset.

"The global implementation of this trial is a positive step, which will be subject to continual monitoring and evaluation. I would like to thank all Unions for their support and enthusiasm throughout this process."

Coupled with the process, the IRB will instruct referees to ensure that the ball does not enter the tunnel unless the scrum is square and stationary and that a straight throw-in is strictly policed. 

"The implementation of the revised sequence alone is not about overcoming all the challenges of the elite scrum but it is a forward step. There is a collective responsibility for coaches, players and administrators to make the scrum a positive, fair and, above all, safe contest. Match officials will be stricter when refereeing the existing law," added Lapasset.

International Rugby Players' Association Executive Director Rob Nichol said: "It is our hope that through this trial, players and officials are able to implement the new sequence in a manner that maintains the scrum as a contest and central feature of the Game, delivers on improved short and long-term player safety and welfare objectives and goes some way towards eliminating the frustrations associated with resets. We appreciate the work undertaken by all involved to get the project to this stage."

Scrum expert and Wales' head coach for the upcoming tour to Japan, Robin McBryde, said: "We welcome the positive move to tackle the scrum, as it plays a significant part in the game, and must be preserved as a safe and fair contest. We look forward to getting to grips with the new sequence and playing our part in addressing the issues for a successful outcome."

In collaboration with Member Unions and key stakeholders, a Game-wide educational process featuring coach and match official workshops will be rolled out ahead of the trial. 

The five perspective Law changes currently being trialled and the trial change to television match official protocols will be considered by IRB Council at its annual meeting in 2014. This new scrum engagement trial will be before Council at its interim meeting the same year. As such, any amendments that are approved will be in place a year ahead of Rugby World Cup 2015.  


Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 12189
RE: New scrum engagement
May 08, 2013, 23:02:13

 Oimatey it looks like it will definitely improve palyer safety. If it also takes away the ability of a ref to dish out penalties by preference its a good move.


Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 8891
RE: New scrum engagement
May 09, 2013, 01:06:12

This is an excellent move....basically we get back to a halfway stage to old scrumming where you couldn't push before the ball was fed. Scrums were much more succesful in those days, and collapsed far less. I expect this will improve things as well. Far too much time is wasted and too many gratuitous penalties given at scrums. 


Insist on a straight feed and we'll be back to a situation that should never have been fixed, because it wasn't broken.


Status: Senior player
Posts: 3782
RE: New scrum engagement
May 09, 2013, 01:37:50

 It will be interesting to see which countries this rules favours the most. 


At first glance the Northern Hemishpere will be the first to benefit because they appear to be stronger scrummagers. This may be due to the loose underfoot conditions which requires more scrums and set pieces than muli-phase loose recycling rucking play of harder and dry pitches.


South Africa has traditionally been very strong in the set piece including scrums, although over recent years our scrum is not what is once was.

Perhaps due to the SuperXV requiring a mobile player than can clear out rucks and run from ruck to ruck like a flanker. 

A team like Australia who seem to be masters at tricking stronger scrums may be the first get problems. 

It could also favour bigger packs like the Springboks who have more weight and bulk- much like the driving mauls. SA teams are the best at driving mauls, and why should this be too much different to a scrum?


 South Africas current strength is the lineouts and setting up driving mauls from this set piece. 

With the advent of this new law, we could see scrums pushing each other really far back like in school days, and also some tightheads from this as well.


It could also tire out the forwards and therefore create more space for the backs



It has often amazed me when the boks have played much bigger packs than against Australia that we have not dominated them in the scrums. Jake White used to pull his hair out about this.



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