Tank Lanning

'Yes 9' makes scrum unfair

2013-09-26 09:53
Sport24 columnist Tank Lanning (File)
The new scrum call has not completely eradicated resets, but there certainly seem to be far fewer. We still see some properly strange/inept penalties based on binds and collapsing, but I think that will always be the case given the subjective interpretation of the laws by different referees.

The straight feed from the scrumhalf makes it a fairer contest and keeps packs higher as hookers now have to actually hook, which allows the opposition the chance to do the same - hence the previously seldom seen tighthead making a reappearance.

It is without doubt a safer place for front rows given the reduced hit and pre bind (my neck injury came from the packs not engaging at the same time and my head smashing into the opposition thigh), so all in all, I like the look of the new scrum.

My biggest concern is this “Yes 9” call from the ref that signals to the scrumhalf that the ball must be put in.

Now it is the ref who is calling the scrum feed with this “Yes 9” call, and that is why we see the scrumhalf tapping the hooker’s arm just before the scrum feed, so at least he knows when the ball is coming in, and can strike for it.

But in making it the ref’s call as to when the scrum is fed, there are two important ramifications.

Tank is a former Western Province tighthead prop and editor of the recently launched free monthly digital rugby magazine called SCRUM

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