Former England hooker, Brian Moore, writes on elite scrum issues

scrumSome interesting views from former England hooker, Brian Moore writing in today’s Daily Telegraph.  He writes:

“Rugby’s laws define the scrum’s purpose thus: “To restart play quickly, safely and fairly, after a minor infringement or stoppage.”

At lower levels, it generally does all these things but elite-level scrums fail on every point. They do not restart play quickly or even much of it; witness the amount of time taken and the number of penalties awarded. Numerous collapsed scrums and power ‘hitting’ are dangerous, as highlighted by the International Rugby Board’s own recent study and, as illegal put-ins are condoned, they are not even fair.

Why has this happened? Elite referees say it is due to the following reasons, none of which, conveniently, is their fault: more powerful players; professional coaches/players cheating; the relatively new engagement call and, above all, the hit. None of this is true. Players are more powerful and bigger at elite level, but this is the case for both packs in the scrum and therefore the physics involved is not altered; you do not have big against small.

Players and coaches have some responsibility for not obeying scrum laws, but that is so at all levels. If cheating is worse at elite level, laws should be applied more, not less, strictly as the latter approach is clearly an inadequate deterrent. It is disingenuous for officials to claim that they do not break the laws because they are not subject to them and their job is to apply them.”

Full article here.  Do you have the same Elite v Community issues in your country? Comment below.

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