STATS - Weakest Super Scrum - Green and Gold Rugby

STATS – Weakest Super Scrum

STATS – Weakest Super Scrum

Scrums are an endless source of debate in Rugby and even aficionados can watch the same scrum and come up with different judgements of which side got the better of it, and why.

But at the end of the day, there’s one measure that really matters – who got pinged the most. Regardless of feed, ref, opposition. Who do refs perceive as having the dodgiest scrum – whether by mis-timed engagement, weak on hit or obviously boring is what ultimately matters.

So, by this one measure, you might be a little surprised to see who is clearly the worst offender, by some margin – the Bulls.

I’m outta time today, so I’ll let you guys get stuck into the whys and wherefores. But one observation I’d throw in is this – because there are only on average 18 scrums set in a match, leaking 4 penalties and free kicks in total might not seem, on average, like a game changer.

However, when it comes to the business end of the comp, and when a strong scrum targets a weak one, not only can that average underestimate the count in that game, it also underestimates the impact that these penalties can have at inopportune points in a match. We Aussies know this just too well!

And so, when you see once again the Stormers and Crusaders at the bottom of this log, you can only think this is another reason why these two will be strong contenders down the pointy end of the season.


Stats as always from Rucking Good Stats

  • JDog

    Gags you must break the data down further please. Infringements on own put-in, on opposing team put-in, penalties conceded for.

    This is a great start though.

    • a) I don’t have all that data

      b) you don’t need it. At any given scrum the Bulls are most likely to get pinged. End of

  • Patrick

    You’ll get there Gagger, just keep trying.. ;-)

    (I agree btw)

  • Henry

    Gagger, you drunk? Too much 2 up? Because if so, (you’re not the only one) all the more respect for this article.

  • The Arrow

    Great, Tahs scrum for Wallabies. End of.

    I call b/s on this half-assed article, however. Brumbies scrum is excellent.

    Standards of journo on this site = appalling.

    • suckerforred

      This is one mans intrepretation of the data. Have you a different one? If so please construct a reasonable arguement and submit. If not………

    • Barbarian

      Thanks for the feedback Arrow. It’s clear that Gagger has looked at the scrum stats for the entire competition, but I agree it is a ‘half-arsed effort’. For instance there are plenty of other aspects of the game that Gagger hasn’t even MENTIONED. What about lineouts? What about defence? What about kicking? Passing? Support play? Tactics? Post-try celebrations?

      But no, all we get is a pretty good analysis of scrums. What a joke.

      The journalistic standards of this site ARE appalling Arrow. You have said what most of us are thinking. I mean, sure, there are no actual journalists writing on the site, but that is no excuse. Where are the player interviews? Where are the articles about unnamed provincial officials having feuds with unnamed ARU board members?

      Good on you Arrow. You are the real hero here- for having the courage to stand up to Gagger and his reign of shambolic tyranny on this poor excuse for a website.

  • Slim 293

    It really needs to be broken down more…

    In regards to the Brumbies, Alexander seemed to be the main perp in giving away penalties earlier in the season… but has since improved…

    Also, the Brumbies got done repeatedly for ‘early engagement’ against the Reds…

    They’ve also scrummaged better than several teams that have given away less infringements…

    So it’s nothing more than quantitative analysis which doesn’t really show who is the best or worst scrummaging teams…

    • If you’re a “great” scrummaging team that’s getting pinged twice as much as the comp leaders, then you either
      go for referee conspiracy (must admit, I’m partial to it)
      or have a good look at where you’re leaking penalties+frees.

      I think someone serious about their team would do the latter?

    • Patrick

      They also have played Alexander at tighthead which I don’t think helps.

      I must say, Scott Allen’s video really has shaken me up a bit. I distinctly remember explaining that whole thing about arching your pelvis out, squatting deep and dropping your knees without changing the angle, and keeping your shoulders high, to U16s about ten years ago, I thought the ones I was talking to (who were all new to rugby) were doing alright at getting it.

      How the fuck can this be a consistent problem for S15 props??????????????????? I had assumed the problems were more around bindings and ‘smarts’ than basic technique.

  • johnny-boy

    Great work Gagger – very interesting. Ben Alexander (son of Baxter) still true to form. The Blues are a surprise.

    • Patrick

      Have you seen their front-row?

      • johnny-boy

        I have Patrick although Woodcock hasnt played much but I meant it’s surprising their scrum is so good but they are on the bottom of the table

  • chasmac

    Worth more analysis this topic.
    Field position.
    Who’s feed.
    Collapse, early hit, binding, crooked feed.
    Starting front row or bench players
    In or out of position (Alexander at THP)
    Game in the balance / result already decided

  • Homer J

    Surely the refs are having their own comp as well to see who can leave the longest gap when calling the inane crouch – touch – pause etc
    Bryce Lawrence was getting up to about 4 – 5 seconds i think. End of

  • Lindommer

    Why, oh why, is there a (sometimes incredibly long) Pause between the pause and the pause? I don’t get it. How many pauses can a front row have before they pull the trigger? Why do referees feel they have to manufacture a penalty/FK when setting a scrum?

    I hold referees responsible for the vast majority of scrum infringements. And I used to be a ref in a past life.

  • Skip

    bryce lawrence as a ref could be a stat all on it’s own.

  • bill

    Of the games I’ve seen the reds play this year the brumbies gave us the worst time of it in the scrums. And they gave us a rough time last year as well.

  • You are 100% right the bulls have the worst scrum in super 15, the reason is their no 3 prop Werner Kruger. Unfortunately this has been the case for the last few years. With Bakkies Botha behind him he was not that bad but with a youngster behind him this year he is getting hammered by 19 and 20 year olds. I wish all the coaches will give more importance to the role of props and the way they influence the outcome of games


Matt started G&GR just before the 2007 Rugby World Cup and has been enslaved ever since. Follow him on twitter: @MattRowley

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