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All Blacks / crusaders 5m scrum tactics

MajorlyRagerly

Trevor Allan (34)
To be fair to you tragic, I skimmed over what you wrote, read the words perceived scrum dominance, the worlds negative tactics and posted what I did. there is perhaps a good discussion to be had from your opening post.

It's a tactic, and a jolly good one too. 2 years ago the wallabies had one of the best scrums going. Somebody had the demolishing of the poms as their avatar gif on here & even I enjoyed watching it time and time again. May I ask if you found it negative tactics then?

Seriously now, the scrum is just a big a part of the game as scoring tries. Long may it say so.
 

tragic

Arch Winning (36)
Dont get me wrong - the scrums are a vital and intriguing part of our game that sets it apart from that other code. Yes I enjoyed our all too brief foray into scrum dominance but my opinion on the 5m scrum would not change if it was the wallabies. Their is no incentive to clear the ball until points are scored and too often it stalls the game for prolonged periods. It is one of the few areas in the game where if it doesnt go the way one team wants they can do it all over again.
For a long time I have thought it should be a 10m scrum. It is rare for even a weak scrum to be marched 10m so the incentive to rescrum over and over would not be there. A good hit and front foot ball would still be a huge try scoring opportunity with a backrow move or going wide. The 10m would be easy to enforce as any defender infront of the tryline is offside. I think the number of resets would drop significantly, the ball in play would increase and the dominant scrum/attacking side would still be rewarded.
 

Bruce Ross

Ken Catchpole (46)
Both teams employ the same tactic with 5m scrums due to their perceived scrum dominance against the wallabies / reds. If they don't get the dominant hit in a 5m scrum they simply don't take the ball from the scrum (even if it has been cleanly won and the scrum is stable) Eventually as it can't last forever, the scrum will either collapse or a head will pop up. As a result they will either 1. get a penalty as the perceived dominant scrum 2. Get another scrum with another chance of a dominant hit, or 3.wear down the ref and work their way towards a penalty try.
Makes for a predictable pattern. Attacking team doesn't get a dominant hit = collapse and reset. Attacking team gets a dominant hit = try or collapse and penalty.
Negative tactics, fair play or scrum boreathon????

With respect, tragic, I think you are misreading both the intentions of the attacking pack and the dynamics of the situation. Firstly you are paying too much attention to the hit. In the modern era everyone seems to be focussed on the engage as if it is the main contest in the scrum. The hit and engage is simply the precursor to the scrummaging.

What you are describing I would see as the attacking pack attempting to secure a pushover try and the opposing pack successfully resisting it. There are enormous forces involved here. The fact that the scrum appears stationary reflects firstly that the defending pack is manning up to the challenge it has been set and secondly that both packs have sufficient structure and cohesion to hold their shape under intense pressure. For some of us an enthralling contest where no thought would be given to the demands of bladder or bowels.

And if the scrum is reset and the defenders face another challenge we feel we are getting real value for our admission money. You meanwhile have more time to discuss the intricacies of the intercept try scored earlier with the stranger standing at the stall alongside you; or if locked away in your own solitary cubicle, to sit and cogitate on the same subject.

As the sign in the massage parlour read: "Different strokes for different folks".
 

Empire

Syd Malcolm (24)
Try rugby league?*

One of the many beautiful aspects of rugby is the consistent battle for the right to the ball. Scrums, rucks, mails, line outs, and back line play make rugby the 'all bodies' game it is.

That said, no one likes deliberate resets or other collapses due to cheating or terrain. This is where the *referees prerogative lies in facilitating the contest, alas I digress..

A good scrum = good possession, therefore greater chance of getting tries. Within the 10, it's usually best for a dominant scrum to try for the pushover.
 

Scotty

David Codey (61)
Fair enough if you meant a general comment on scrums. But casting it as a Crusaders / All Blacks topic made it look a little bit like trolling, given some of the discussion over the past several days. And we wouldn't like trolling.
My belief is you would want to make damn sure your scrum was clearly dominant before trying that tactic. Sooner or later your THP or LHP might get it wrong, and collapse, and you'd look a complete bunch of dills walking back 10m to watch them kick it to halfway for a lineout, when it could have been in the hands of Carter / SBW / Fruean / Nonu (for example). What I've noticed often is a bit of a wheel from dominant packs, without going forward, for a fast breaking backrow move having taken two-thirds of the oppo backrow out of the equation.

Yep. It is nh teams and tabs that use the scrum to try and get penalty tries and yellow cards (the only part of the game where you can get yellow carded for not being good enough). The saders and blacks usually use a dominant scrum to put themselves in a position to score a try or at worst get a penalty and keep the scoreboard ticking over.

Their only real illegal move I have noticed recently is the flankers detaching before the ball is out or the flanker interfering with the defending half back (happened a few times vs the reds).
 

tragic

Arch Winning (36)
You meanwhile have more time to discuss the intricacies of the intercept try scored earlier with the stranger standing at the stall alongside you; or if locked away in your own solitary cubicle, to sit and cogitate on the same subject.

Ah the air of superiority of those who champion the dark art of scrummaging never ceases to amuse me. Of course those who find multiple cynical scrum resets dull must not understand the "intentions and dynamics" of forward play and would prefer to watch an opportunistic intercept. (even with 10yrs playing history as a rugby forward)
You mistake my distaste for the current 5m scrum tactics as a distaste for scrummaging and forward play in general. Other than deliberate cynical play how do you explain the fact that 5m scrums are reset more than any other scrum on the park (think ABs vs Italy, think ABs vs Wallabies, think waratahs v reds) It is very difficult when defending a 5m scrum to have a stable platform if you lose the hit. 4 steps back = try, so the scrum goes down. On the other hand the attacking dominant scrum knows it has an 80% chance of converting the scrum to points so if it is a neutral scrum they would rather it go down and be reset than clear the ball. The result is reset after reset and a 10-15 min period where the ball is out of play. The refs dont understand the nuances of srummaging and the result is a lottery peppered with repeated cynical play from both sides.
End of story....
 

Bruce Ross

Ken Catchpole (46)
Both teams employ the same tactic with 5m scrums due to their perceived scrum dominance against the wallabies / reds. If they don't get the dominant hit in a 5m scrum they simply don't take the ball from the scrum (even if it has been cleanly won and the scrum is stable) Eventually as it can't last forever, the scrum will either collapse or a head will pop up. As a result they will either 1. get a penalty as the perceived dominant scrum 2. Get another scrum with another chance of a dominant hit, or 3.wear down the ref and work their way towards a penalty try.
Makes for a predictable pattern. Attacking team doesn't get a dominant hit = collapse and reset. Attacking team gets a dominant hit = try or collapse and penalty.
Negative tactics, fair play or scrum boreathon????

And the correct answer to tragic's question is: "None of the above".

I got involved in this discussion not realising that the Laws are very explicit on this tactic. There are not one but two relevant sub-clauses:

20.4 (e) When a scrum remains stationary and the ball does not emerge immediately a further scrum is ordered at the place of the stoppage. The ball is thrown in by the team not in possession at the time of the stoppage.

20.4 (f) When a scrum becomes stationary and does not start moving immediately, the ball must emerge immediately. If it does not a further scrum will be ordered. The ball is thrown in by the team not in possession at the time of the stoppage.

So, holding the ball in a stationary scrum is illegal with the correct sanction being a reset with a change of feed. If the practice is ignored it is bad refereeing.

You're never too old to learn more about the arcane complexities of our game.
 
T

TheNextBigThing

Guest
Legal or not. It is a viable tactic. I've never took special notice of the Crusaders or ABs employing it. Tahs have repeatedly tried it this year with varying success. The chiefs saw them get a yellow card and Penalty try. Against the Reds they weren't ready for a dominant shove and got scrappy ball at the back and surrendered the momentum (and points) after an extended period of pressure.

As the Waratahs vs. Reds game and Bruce's excellent research shows, there's a lot that can go wrong by trying to force a dominant scrum/penalty try. Its a real risk and hence not inherantly negative.
 

tragic

Arch Winning (36)
And the correct answer to tragic's question is: "None of the above".

I got involved in this discussion not realising that the Laws are very explicit on this tactic. There are not one but two relevant sub-clauses:

20.4 (e) When a scrum remains stationary and the ball does not emerge immediately a further scrum is ordered at the place of the stoppage. The ball is thrown in by the team not in possession at the time of the stoppage.

20.4 (f) When a scrum becomes stationary and does not start moving immediately, the ball must emerge immediately. If it does not a further scrum will be ordered. The ball is thrown in by the team not in possession at the time of the stoppage.

So, holding the ball in a stationary scrum is illegal with the correct sanction being a reset with a change of feed. If the practice is ignored it is bad refereeing.

You're never too old to learn more about the arcane complexities of our game.

Thanks Bruce for posting the exact laws - my recollection was "use it or lose it" but I've almost never heard it called. This is part of my gripe - it rarely sees to be refereed that way. Eventually the scrum goes down as it must and if an offence cannot be found or the cause is unclear a reset gets ruled with the same feed (even if the ball was sitting at the feet of the attacking no. 8 when the scrum was stationary and went down) I guess in fairness to the referee it is difficult to decide at what point the scrum is over vs regrouping for a second shove, or the halfback orchestrating a back line move and it would also be wrong to change the feed in that situation.
It just seems that when teams with a strong scrum have not managed to get points anywhere else they try to milk the 5m scrum for all its worth - often cynically. Sure its a risk but if nothing else has worked what is the downside??
 
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