14 September 2013

CBSY9 - Quins v Saints

My experience of the new scrum sequence - Crouch, Bind, Set, Yes 9 - has been totally positive.  As a referee, it gives me control over the process, removes the high intensity hit, allows me to see the positioning of the front row players and has the outcome of a tiny number of collapsed scrums, less than one a match.  I've not changed my policy of insisting that the throw-in to the scrum must be made properly along the centre line of the scrum (I referee at the community Rugby level), and so there has been a real contest at the scrum in most matches.

My big worry is that this great improvement - as shown by the firm refereeing of Craig Joubert in the first of this year's NZ v Wallabies matches - could be undermined.  If the professional game is allowed to continue with the bent throw-in to the scrum, then there won't be a contest and hookers won't need to hook. The lawmakers could ditch the contested scrum altogether if the CBSY9 trial fails.  Here are the scrums from Friday night's Aviva Premiership match (13/09/2013), in foul conditions, between Quins and Saints:

1st half

07:54 - Saints scrum 5 - first attempt, both front rows fail to crouch
08:32 - goes down on Quins LH side, Marler underneath TH prop
09:20 - third attempt, ref comes round to far (Quins LH) side; Marler has bound long (on TH shorts?), penalty for 'hingeing': 0-3
13:50 Quins Rob Buchanan on for Joe Gray (hooker)
17:45 Saints scrum, goes down on throw-in side, referee talks to captains
18:05 Scrum reset, Quins penalised for popping up (penalty missed)
24:11 - scuffle, captains warned
24:35 - scrum to Quins, Marler long bind, goes down
25:05 - scrum reset, Care feed ball between LH and hooker's feet - successful scrum
28:00 - Quins given FK for numbers at line out, but opt for scrum...
28:40 - scrum collapses on set, still moving as Care throws in, Saints LH penalised for angle (3-3)
36:20 - diagonal feed by Care, never near middle line - succesful scrum
40:00 - another feed by Care, standing a foot to the right of middle line - successful scrum

2nd half

44:20 - penalty to Quins, taking man in the air (6-3)
48:40 - scrum to Quins went down
49:12 - reset, ref on far side, ball at least visible in tunnel - successful scrum
52:50 - line out penalty to Saints (6-6)
58:20 - Marler subbed by Lambert
62:15 - Great Saints maul, but then turned over. Couldn't see Quins throw in, didn't look good; scrum had gone low on far side, before ref allowed scrum to start - successful scrum but messy result for Quins.  Saints charged down kick at subsequent ruck and scored a try from there, converted by Myler (6-13)
65:10 - Care dropped Ball at LH prop's foot but it rebounded and Saints won scrum against head - successful scrum
66:15 - dubious feed by Dickson, scrum moving but no way Quins hooker could challenge - successful scrum
67:50 - early engage by Saints, FK
70:55 - went down on far side from Quins throw-in, reset
71:30 - Ref starts on far side from Quins throw-in but in a great position; he moved off the middle line, but ball visible in tunnel - successful scrum
74:10 - Nick Easter YC
76:30 - Myler YC


Six scrum awards in each half.   In the first half, three awards ended successfully: two at first attempt, one after one reset.  Three other awards ended in penalties, one after two resets, one after one reset, and one at the first attempt.  In the second half, five ended successully: three at the first attempt and two after one reset.  The other award ended in a FK to Quins. 

Saints were awarded three of the twelve but managed to finish only one of them successfully, the two others resulting in penalties.  Quins had six successful outcomes, plus one lost against the head, one FK and one PK. The ball was visible in the tunnel in only two of the successful outcomes, and from the viewpoint of television, the opposing hooker would not have been able to reach the ball if he'd bothered striking for it in either case.