Wednesday, April 04, 2007

More about new scrum laws

December 14, 2006

Via The Times (UK):

Change of rules likely to herald a new approach to prop culture

Mark Souster
The Times
December 14, 2006


Craig Dowd, the Wasps forwards coach and former All Blacks prop, instigated yesterday’s rigorous schedule with full live scrums for the first time. He brought in Wayne Barnes, one of the RFU’s leading referees, to oversee the session. “What we discovered was that props who are quicker off the mark will benefit,” Dowd said last night. “The bigger, heavier prop with only a short hit will be negated — null and void. The more dynamic prop will come out on top of a bigger opponent. They can go in a better pushing position early and harness the power coming through from behind.”

In short a good little ’un with technique and craft should better a less dynamic but stronger big ’un. He believes that there will be far more pressure on the tight-head.

“You will find a lot more boring in by the tight-head on to the hooker because he will run out of options if the loose-head gets a really good hit,” he said. “It is going to open a whole new can of worms. I don’t know if it is going to make things safer. Nobody wants to go backwards [at a scrum] and they will find ways around it. I know it is being introduced for safety reasons, but scrums will still collapse.”

For the uninitiated, what is the hit like? “When it is done correctly, it is not painful,” Dowd said. “The problems occur if the prop goes (to engage) before the locks and back row are ready. You get what I call the truck-and-trailer effect. You hit the opposition but then recoil and slam back into your own locks. That is very dangerous and is the cause of a lot of the problems props have with lower-back injuries.” [...]


  • Earlier: IRB: Scrum Law Changes: “crouch, touch, pause, engage”

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