Why Have a Scrum? Means of restarting play following minor infraction of laws Permit both teams a chance to win the ball but an edge to the non-offending side – Requires fair contest for ball – Safety of players is paramount
Effective Scrum Management: Why it is important! A badly managed scrum often results in: – Frequent collapses Increased player frustration & increased aggression Wasted game time for resets Danger of serious player injuries – Frustration with referee More questioning of calls Less compliance with other areas of game – Increased likelihood of yellow cards being used 4
Managing the Scrum When do you start to manage the scrum? – When you arrive at the ground? – Pre-game speech? – At the first scrum? – At each scrum? None of the above!! You need to have a game plan for scrum management before you leave home. 5
Preparation: Pregame Talk Know what you want to say to the players – Front row, scrum half, replacements – Write down your speech and learn it Your talk needs to be interactive – Get the players to agree with you regarding standards and obligations for them – It should not be a conference with one speaker 6
Goal of Pregame Talk Talk WITH all front rows and scrum halves Establish a rapport with the players Explain your engagement sequence and what you are looking for the players to do Get the players to give you verbal agreement that they understand these objectives Make your requirements know and accepted before you start the match – Put onus on players to comply with the entente 7
Understanding The Scrum Effective management of the scrum must be based upon a knowledge of the scrum – What is a teams objective from the scrum – What is the role of each player – What are the phases of the scrum – What are the laws apply to the scrum Section 20 – long and technical. Learn it!! 8
Scrum Objectives By Team Team putting ball into scrumOpponents Control the scrumDisrupt their opponents A tool to launch an attackLimit attacking options Wheel the scrum Wear down their opponents 9
Frontt Row Objectives 10 Putting the ball into the scrumNot their put-in Loosehead Props Stable Scrum / Move forward / Get ball outGet under their opponent / Push on an angle / Put pressure on other hooker / Destabilize the opponents Hooker Stay square / Keep low / Ball out via channel 1 or 2 / See the ball before its introduction Put pressure on opposing hooker / Push on other tighthead prop / Squeeze the opponent’s head Tighthead Props Keep his opponents under control / Push forwards / Destabilize his opponents Push but often on an angle / Cause problems for his opponents / Put pressure on the other hooker’s head / Be a nuisance in general Complete Front Row Solid / Be low / Ready to Push / Dominant / Bodies in strong position / Capable of exploding or absorbing pressure / ready quickly Solid / Be low / Ready to Push / Be disruptive / Pushing / Win the hit to control the scrum / Wheel the scrum as needed
The Phases of a Scrum Formation Engagement Putting the ball into the scrum and subsequent consequences 11
Engagement Sequence – Step 1 Crouch – Don’t call too quickly – Watch the teams and their preparation – Keep the front rows upright (hunched is OK) until you are ready to give the crouch command Don’t let one side delay its compliance with the call for too long – Warn first time – Fee kick second time 13
Engagement Sequence – Step 2 Touch – Props much touch their opponents on the point of their shoulder Don’t be pedantic; this is more to demonstrate spacing than binding issues. If they can’t touch due to distance, get the scrum up and reset with the two front rows closer together The steps are not a race. Don’t move to next step until compliance has been achieved 15
Engagement Sequence – Step 3 Set – Have a small pause between “touch” and “set” – Use this time to scan for problems Teams must not engage prior to command nor delay too long afterwards – Free kick for early engagements (where you are sure which team offended) else reset – Don’t let teams stand up after touch and prior to set. Once down, they must engage: free kick 17
What is a good engagement? Front rows must hit straight and with their shoulders no lower than their hips (PK) Front rows must bind on engagement on the body of their opponent (“long bind”) (PK) – After initial bind, can move to alternative position No head on head by props at set up – FK initially (generally against LH) then escalate if repeated A legal wheel goes forward and through the opposition. A wheel that goes back and around at pace is illegal (whip) – Prop going backwards will have feet in front of hips
After the Ball is put in If the scrum collapses: – Whistle loudly and immediately for safety reasons – Ensure no further pushing goes on (PK) – Don’t play advantage or permit play to continue (unless ball is about to be moved – see clips) Who was at fault? – Never guess! – Use your understanding of the objectives of the players. Watch the shoulders, hips and binding of the players in the front row, even after the collapse. – The guilty party is usually quite evident 20
Problems with the Scrum? Troubleshooting Guide ProblemProbable cause and solution Early Engagementa.Check engagement cadence for “crouch, touch, set” b.Award a free kick for clear and obvious infractions The scrum movesa.Due to action of the props nearest to you away from youb. Look at the engagement angle of the near side tighthead prop (TH) c.Look at the angle of the hips of the near side loosehead prop (LH), specifically right after the engagement d.Look at the positions of the feet for the front row prior to the ball being put into the scrum The scrum movesa.Due to action of the props farthest from you Towards youb. Look at the engagement angle of the far side TH c.Look at the angle of the hips of the far side LH, specifically right after the engagement 23
Problems with the Scrum? Troubleshooting Guide ProblemProbable cause and solution Scrum Collapseda.During the engagement, watch the TH closely. If his head is On engagementlower than his hips, this position leads to collapses b.After engagement, check the elbows, shoulders and hips for a prop boring in or pulling down (next page) LH Boring In Quick cue: Outside foot up and bum out Accurate cue: LH left shoulder and head up and head towards sternum of opposing TH. Also, LH bum low and shoulders high while driving inwards Poor technique:LH left shoulder down. Shoulders lower than hips while facing inwards (no PK; reset or FK) 24
Problems with the Scrum? Troubleshooting Guide ProblemProbable cause and solution TH Boring In: Quick cue: Outside foot up and bum out. Body facing inwards Accurate cue: Both fee facing inwards and bum down and outwards Poor technique:TH right shoulder up and bum high with body angles inwards, often result of opposing LH boring in. LH Pulling Scrum Down (often to get reset quickly): Quick cue: Elbow points down to the ground as scrum collapses Accurate cue: Head and elbow are directed downwards and inwards. Bum is high in the air. Poor technique:LH knees drop down. Elbow naturally reaches for the ground to prevent head impact
Problems with the Scrum? Troubleshooting Guide TH Pulling Scrum Down (often to get reset quickly): Quick cue: Elbow points down to the ground as scrum collapses Accurate cue: TH pulls elbow backwards and downwards as TH rolls shoulder inwards. Poor technique:TH bum stays high. Elbow naturally reaches for the ground to prevent head impact. Hooker Is Upright:a.If the hookers shoulders are parallel, hooker stood up b.If one shoulder is higher than the other, it is likely to be the actions of the opposition props pushing him in the air. Front Row Being Lifted:a.Props knees straighten and head stays down.
Problems with the Scrum? Other Issues To Watch If a team wheels after the ball is in, let them have a go unless it is a whip wheel Teams that lose the hit may well collapse the scrum immediately The loosehead with his/her hand on the ground has an unfair advantage. A loosehead will almost never have his/her hand on the ground on their own ball!!
How to try to manage these problems? Communication – Be proactive before the match, before each scrum – Repeat your requirements if you had problems at the prior scrum – Don’t let them engage if there is something wrong Penalize – Be vigilant during the engagement – No side should push before the ball comes in Use your cards (yellow for the 3 rd time) 28
Mayday Procedure Procedure to deal with injury in scrum following a collapse – Not always taught to players but is supposed to be – Try to minimize impact on player who called mayday Referee will freeze all particpants before disassembling scrum in a prescribed manner to ensure no movement of injured player
Mayday Priorities Player PrioritiesReferee Priorities Upon hearing “MAYDAY”, repeat loudlyUpon hearing “MAYDAY”, blow your whistle loudly & immediately Stop pushing and drop to your knees immediately Identify the injured player and their status Do not turn your head to the side. Rotation and flexion increases the chance of neck injury Disassemble the scrum safely. Keep your chin and chest through and face plant on the bridge of your nose and forehead Do not move an injured player. Leave them exactly where they are until medical assistance arrives. If no player is injured, reset the scrum when players are ready. Read the Rugby Canada protocol to be aware of the full details!