Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

Top14 player imposter!

JDV smashed by Benoit August

The Northampton Saints 30m scrum!

Bastareaud huge hit on Rory Lamont

All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Funnies - Crouch, touch, slap, engage

Unfortunately there hasn't been time for Magners League or Aviva Premiership highlights this week but hopefully tomorrow I'll get some time to post something. It is Friday though, so time for a laugh with the latest Friday Funnies clip.

This one comes from Southland's meeting with Waikato in the ITM Cup in New Zealand, a match that was low scoring but resulted in Southland continuing their winning run in the tournament. You can view highlights of the match here, in yesterdays post.

This particular moment was picked up by a forum member who watched the game live and took the time to send in the request. If he'd not done that, classic moments like this would be missed so please try do the same when you see something happen that you think would be good to share.

There's been a lot of debate lately about the way refs are handling the scrum engagement, with refs down south in New Zealand and South Africa deliberately taking ages to do the call, while up North it's more regulation and what we're used to. There are critics of both, as some say the old way isn't steady enough, while others don't like the slow, delayed calls down South.

What the delay did produce however was Southland prop Chris King doing something you won't often see at scrumtime. Somehow the ref spotted it though, penalising him and allowing Waikato to snatch three points in a tight game. We can't condone it, but it was hilarious to watch.

Have a great weekend, and keep your hands to yourself. Cheers

Time: 01:43




    By Anonymous Yadi, at September 24, 2010 7:40 pm  

  • The slow engage sequence works quite well. It helps ensure packs are under control when they are crouched prior to engagement. With a fast sequence, it is easier for packs to engage out of balance and this leads to riskier scrums (in terms of collapse).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 24, 2010 7:48 pm  

  • slow calls for the scrum suck, and dont talk about them if you are not a prop its our necks we are risking... they slow everything down and take the thrill out of that lovely thing scummaging is..

    By Anonymous eric, at September 24, 2010 7:56 pm  

  • @ eric: If you enjoy the "thrill" of risky scrums, I'm afraid you're in the minority - in the rugby community at large, as well as in the "front row union" specifically. Since I've started using the slower engage sequence (I'm a referee), I've gotten nothing but good comments about it from front row players.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 24, 2010 8:29 pm  

  • the scrum sequence has to go faster than in this video, but mustnt be in a rush,

    because the position the front row takes prior to engaging is very hard to hold over a long period of time, and this is what top scrummagers such as french front rowers Dimitri Szwarzewski and Nicolas Mas recommend

    indeed, as useless as french refs can be all over the park (except Romain Poite and 1 or 2 others on the IRB panel of referees), the way the scrum is refereed is very good in TOP14,
    and this leads to TOP14 front-rowers being top-class

    By Anonymous Luxi, at September 24, 2010 9:19 pm  

  • Nice one !

    By Anonymous Tikoala, at September 24, 2010 9:35 pm  

  • I'm not sure if my eglish is good enough to explain myself.. but ill do my best, the damage you do to the opposing pack at the moment you engage is key to win the scrum thats why the more tension the better... so, when you are in that position (just as luxi said) its hard to keep it because you are predisposed to go forwards.. That is to say that the shorter the calls the more contested the scrum is going to be unless you have some gay prop pulling it down because he is getting his ass handed or something like that...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 24, 2010 10:37 pm  

  • Didn't the slap recepient try to get a dig in once the scrum goes down?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 24, 2010 11:08 pm  

  • Whichever way they go they've got to keep it consistant, I watched a premiership match the other day and the calls were all over the place and it just confused the hell out of the front rows as neither team was entirely sure what the hell they were being pinged for.

    This seems to be an overarching issue that referees are taking their interpretations to the limit.

    By Anonymous Nick, at September 24, 2010 11:13 pm  

  • seen props punch the opposite prop on the arm for the 'touch', maybee give each other a dead arm.
    i'm sure props see this as good digs

    By Anonymous mat, at September 24, 2010 11:13 pm  

  • i play hooker and ive got nothing against the slow startup, i love scrummaging nevertheless

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 24, 2010 11:17 pm  

  • "Since I've started using the slower engage sequence (I'm a referee), I've gotten nothing but good comments about it from front row players."

    So, you're part of the problem. Thanks, buddy. Next time leave a name.

    By Anonymous EK, at September 25, 2010 12:48 am  

  • Let me clarify: the problem is that referees are enforcing the slow-scrum count and due to the fact that it's not uniform (How long should the "pause" be? How long is the "touch......." [aka - the wait before saying "pause", which sort of makes saying "pause" redundant] call? etc.). And referees are full-arm penalizing other sides for "early engagement" instead of understanding that a rule change will take some getting used to.

    Furthermore, how many referees have previously been forwards? Not many. And the empathy or understanding from refs of what the front few rows are going through seems to be scarce.

    The point is that it's incredibly frustrating to see so many penalties this year due to referees thinking rugby has turned into "simon says" and that the game should be about jumping when the ref says "jump". The referee should just be there to facilitate scrums and make sure they go over safely.

    By Anonymous EK, at September 25, 2010 12:55 am  

  • @EK. The law says that the front row doesn't jump until the ref says so which means it's not the refs who are making some sort of "simon says" interpretation, it's actually what the law says.
    However I do agree with the general point that the calls can be way too slow and inconsistent, and like a lot of things in life I guess a good scrum engagement is all about rhythm. Some refs just don't seem to have it.
    In the video I think King should be penalised anyway for not binding at the engagement which is why it went down .. he was too busy tickling the guy's ear.

    By Anonymous secondfive, at September 25, 2010 1:54 am  

  • @ EK: My name is Agustín. What's yours?

    As secondfive said, the law says that the packs may not engage until the referee calls engage.

    At any rate, I do maintain consistency in my engage sequence throughout the game as long as the packs are engaging stably and safely.

    If you read my comments (I was comment #2 and #4) you'll see that I do, in fact, have empathy for the front row and other forwards (as demonstrated by my attempts to make the scrummaging safer), and that I've received good feedback from them.

    You say, "The referee should just be there to facilitate scrums and make sure they go over safely." This is exactly what I (and other referees) are trying to accomplish. The slower engage sequence is leading to safer scrums, so I'd say it is successful.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 25, 2010 2:16 am  

  • The slow or fast engage is irrelevant- as long as the ref takes the same timing for each scrum, and doesn't move from 'crouch' to 'touch, pause... engage' until both sides are crouched, then it's fair.

    With a slow call, you're more likely to get early engages, as any good front row will be on their toes from before the crouch, only held back by the hooker and possibly eightman. That's a deliberately unstable position, so at some point the scrums will engage. It's better that both scrums engage at the same time, rather than one engaging into the chests or shoulders of the other.

    By Anonymous Robbie B, at September 25, 2010 1:54 pm  

  • Haha classic.

    Not a penalty though. I've seen countless punches go unnoticed at many scrums.

    But that's the risk!

    By Anonymous Juggernauter, at September 25, 2010 6:11 pm  

  • The slower scrum call is good.
    It means less collapses, because teams can't do moving engagements.
    They actually have to stop and set themselves, instead of going into the hit still moving.
    It means less chance of collapse and means the scrum isn't all about the initial hit.
    Scrums stay up more, there's less impact on the front rowers necks and backs, and less chance of collapse. It means less scrum restarts, and less chance of injuries in the scrum.

    Oh, and good on him for the slap, hilarious.

    By Anonymous Bill, at September 27, 2010 12:48 am  

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