No more scrums...WTH?

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May 12, 2024, 20:45

Since you can't call a scrum from a short arm anymore, why do we even need a pack?

Am I missing something here?

Doesn't this completely negate the need for any sort of scrum dominance? Why do we even need props and hookers anymore?

Take this recent WC. England could simply have intentionally given away a short arm, the Boks don't get that penalty, and England win that game.

...are we now going to get into a position where refs have to make a call as to whether a team tried to intentionally give away a short arm, and then penalise them for that?

I'm so confused.

May 12, 2024, 21:09

It’s pathetic. They’re trying to turn it into Rugby League. 

May 12, 2024, 21:22

Yes I agree with you guys…a person gets that feeling they want to make it more like Rugby league, tap and go….but they are going to fuck it up big time, as Rugby is more popular and they will loose the viewers….I love the scrums and it is a important part of Rugby. It gives you a platform to attack from in your oppositions half and when it’s only 5 to 10 m from the line, you can get a push over try. These clowns are not fit for the future of Rugby and are changing the sport into something that’s not Rugby!!

May 13, 2024, 01:29

They would do us all a massive favor if they just went back to the rules in 1965. Almost everything they have done since then has taken skill out of the game……hooking, lineout jumping, center on center/wing on wing contests, cross kicks, dribbling, drop kicks. The ball carrying which used to be backline dominated has now been replaced with boring forward phase running.

Altogether it’s a lesser game, admittedly played by more professional athletes.

May 13, 2024, 05:11

You guys make it sound like ALL scrums are to be banned. It’s only following a short-arm penalty FFS!! I’m all for it. Rugby’s all about scoring tries and not winning games all the time just because you have a stronger scrum.

May 13, 2024, 05:18


Under the new laws, you don't need to select a team that can scrum. Props and hookers are now entirely unnecessary.

Rugby is about scoring tries. But what sets Union apart from all other forms of the game, in scrums.

Seriously, what stops any team from dropping props and hookers altogether and picking three massive loosies as their front row. Then, simply giving away a short arm every time there is a scrum.

The team still picking props and hookers would be at a huge disadvantage.

How can you be all for that?

May 13, 2024, 06:21

Hehe, give Rassie and the Boks their due - they've completely rattled the establishment.

May 13, 2024, 06:51

At least we can be assured that Rassie is always one step ahead of the establishment

There are not that many short arm calls a game and half of those are kicked anyway - intentionally creating a short arm at scrum time will lead to a long arm after three infringements

Props and hookers will be going nowhere. Every knock on and the odd penalty will see a scrum

May 13, 2024, 14:09


Are you normal?

A team engages early, or the hooker fails to use the "break leg", that's a short arm.

From that short arm, the other team can't call for another scrum.

In other words, if you don't want to, you never have to scrum against a stronger scrumming team. Just give away a short arm.

Would you like to try explaining it to me again?

May 13, 2024, 15:26

Simple - after 3 short arms it becomes a penalty and every time thereafter - so is a side going to risk throwing a scrum more than twice and concede a penalty - no they won’t

Does that help?

May 13, 2024, 16:08

Are you sure of that?

I'm not completely familiar with the rule(just for you Rooi).

Here is what ChatGPT says...

"In rugby, the rules regarding penalties after multiple short arm penalties (also known as free kicks) aren't strictly defined as converting into a full penalty after a certain number. Instead, it depends on the nature of the infringements and the discretion of the referee. A full penalty isn't automatically awarded after a specific number of free kicks. However, if a team repeatedly commits the same minor infractions that lead to free kicks, the referee might escalate the sanctions to a full penalty if they believe the team is persistently offending or not playing in good faith.

After a full penalty is awarded for repeated infringements, further penalties for similar infringements may continue to be awarded as full penalties if the team does not correct their behavior. The decision is very much based on the referee's judgment and the context of the game, rather than a set number of infractions."

According to this, it looks like the ref gets to decide and it's based on interpretation rather than anything concrete.

May 13, 2024, 16:15

I thought the law change was that you could not take a scrum after fielding a free kick (as Damian Willemse did in the RWC QF against France) . . . which hardly ever happens so shouldn't be a big deal.

May 13, 2024, 16:31

Nah. It's free kicks awarded from scrums too.

Am I the only thinking this is insane?

Every channel I watch on YouTube is freaking out about it. They all agree that it'll massively detract from the game. They all agree that the change to the Dupont and the crock role laws are fine. But nobody thinks the changes to scrums is gonna be anything but negative.

Are we gonna see refs pleading with teams to stop ruining scrums? Giving warning after warning? Teams cycling through the various ways of infringing to give away free kicks so the ref can't accuse them of committing the same offence.

Would that qualify as "playing the edge of laws"?

I'm not generally pessimistic about the changes, but I have serious problem with this one.

May 13, 2024, 16:32

These are the amendments:

Law 20: Options at a penalty or free-kick

20.3 A team awarded a penalty or a free kick may instead choose a scrum.

20.4 i. A team awarded a penalty or free-kick at a lineout may instead choose a lineout or a scrum at the same mark.
ii. A team awarded a free-kick at a lineout may instead choose a lineout at the same mark.

Scrum options table in Law 19.1 (row 4) would also be amended “Scrum option from a FK/Penalty"

May 13, 2024, 16:47

Well one thing is for certain is that while it might be left to the discretion of the ref there is no way any ref is going to allow a side to repeatedly commit the same infringement. The ref will warn the side like they always do and if the infringement occurs for a third time they penalise the side. The exact same thing will happen with a short arm free kick. So you effectively have two strikes at committing the infringement be it at scrum time then third time you are 95% going to get penalised

May 13, 2024, 16:47

Say a team are awarded a 5m scrum. Why on earth would the opposition risk actually scrumming?

I mean, this is crazy.

A strong scrum is a weapon. And now opposition get numerous get out of jail free cards.

Now, not only do you have to use your dominant scrum well, but the opposition can spoil critical scrums in good field positions.

May 13, 2024, 17:08

But that’s only if the ref blows a short arm, he may blow a penalty instead for that infringement 5m out

May 13, 2024, 19:17

Still telling that one of the Bokke's key strengths is being negated in the name of speeding up the's rugby, why the constant need to fix something that's not broken?...did the scrum off the Willemse mark vs France really trigger such an overreaction?

May 13, 2024, 19:39

Agreed Draad it’s all so unnecessary

Biggest fuck up is the RFU wanting all amateur sides to tackle from the waist down

Imagine the fuck up that is going cause. What the hell do players do when they transition to professional sides - it will be like playing a different game.

Imagine trying to defend the try line by only tackling below the waist - virtually impossible

The biggest issue will be the frequency of the whistle being blown for tackles above the waist - fuck me so many tackles have to be effected as best you can given your positioning. One is often not afforded the time to change your position in order to effect a low tackle

The RFU are a bunch of idiots

May 14, 2024, 07:53

The fact is that I am against too many scriums being used in matches - because it turned the S A game to bcome Tight 5 extensions by coaches since 1992.    The norm developed that  1 or often 2 loosies were selected to be extentions of the Tight 5 and not loose orwards in the true sense of the word.    Typical examples were Rossouw at 8 and Alberts at  7 - both were way too slow to be regarded as proper loosies.    That caused selecion of teams and playing of `10 man rugby - since the looosies could not be used in playing attacking rugby.    

Erasmus found another way to pick players.a loosies.  He asked the Stormres and Lions to try out Du Toit and Mostert at 7 since they have pace and could be successful loosies also becoming part of attacking rugby.   Mostert  failed miserably and his selection became a fringe player - mostly used from the bench, 

I like what I saw from Roos at 8 - he is physically strong - but pacy and  having ball sense as well.   In essense the move by Erasmus has been to look at alternative and faster loosies that could tie up with backlines in attacking moves,    The appointment of Browne as attack coach indicates that as a meas to brig the loosies forward as part of attacks by the backline.

That being said the scrium issue will become an issue when opposing teams abuse the use of short-arm penalties ahead of scrums and I do not think that rule will work out if teams deliberately abuse the new rule.    ,   .   .                    

May 14, 2024, 14:19

No fuck that the more scrums the better - I love the scrum contest and it’s a Bok strength

May 14, 2024, 14:23

Well, you can still call a scrum from a straight arm penalty. But it is strange request. How many scrums are there really in games. How much time does it take up. 

Scrums are a huge part of rugby. Now we won't be able to tell the difference between league and rugby anymore. Same stupid, run crash, run, crash, run crash. 

These fools are delusional to think that it will be all out free flowing rugby. We've seen how well teams are defending these days. 

There is nothing wrong with stoppages 

May 14, 2024, 15:51

It's easy, they want less set piece because they believe it equates to more money. That's the equation under the BS.

But the actual rugby fans love the set piece.

When you piss of the core fan base, it never goes well. This happens with gaming all the time. Developers take decisions that alienate the core community with the hopes of the loss being covered by new players. But it never works. Like ever.

We may all have varying opinions of what the effect of the changes will be. But not a single regular would be happy if it ruins the effectiveness of scrums as a weapon.

So, time will tell, but I see kak on the horizon. And I hope Rassie has a plan to immediately make a farce of it.

May 15, 2024, 21:03

Mountains out of molehills Plum. Very few short arm penalties in a game anyway and as Saffex says, the refs will soon cotton on to teams milking the system and award full penalties.

May 15, 2024, 21:51

Mole hills my arse...totally unnecessary law changes wrt the scrums...

May 15, 2024, 21:52

Ja, Moola

We know how your boys like to "play to edge of the laws".

Stop pretending that you're not licking your lips.

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