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What would be the likely outcome of a scrum fed from the thrower's tighthead side? Who would more likely win possession and what quality of possession could be expected?
What if the law was that most scrums were required to be fed from the thrower's tighthead with the non offender determining who was to feed? The remainder, such as penalty scrums, would stay as is.
Could this encourage a more constructive approach to scrummaging?
You are quite right - there is no law to say which side the ball must be fed in from:
20.5 THROWING THE BALL INTO THE SCRUM
(a) No Delay. As soon as the front rows have come together, the scrum half must throw in the ball without delay.
The scrum half must throw in the ball when told to do so by the referee.
The scrum half must throw in the ball from the side of the scrum first chosen.
There are advantages to using the loose head side as they can help the hookers' position more than the tight head. The No 8 can also get into a better position from a put in to the left hand side of the scrum.
Do other coaches have views on this?
Simon Can you clarify the section of the law that states "The scrum half must throw in the ball from the side of the scrum first chosen." Does this refer to the very first scrum and therefore ALL subsequent scrums must have the ball thrown in from the same side, or once the Scrum Half has indicated \ intimated he\she will throw in from a particular side, they cannot then run round to the opposite side to throw in ? Cheers, Andy
I will attempt to answer my own question. Given the two great advantages in the engaged scrum being superiority of the hooker's position and timing of the shove, both of which are with the non offender, we currently have a scrum which is NOT a contest for possession so much as it is a contest for quality of possession. The suggestion here, is that if the two advantages are required by law to be split between the teams, with the non offender allowed the best advantage (see original question), the likely distribution of possession will create a scrum which is a direct possession contest. The non offender will have a lessened, but still fair advantage (penalty scrums can be exempted). The reasoning is that if both packs are engaged in the constructive effort of trying to strike the ball, the scrum becomes less a destructive contest and reset rates should drop. A potential problem with such tighthead fed scrums is a lower quality of striking, with hooker's resorting to using the near foot (cow kicking). There would, however, be justification for limiting the scrum loser's ability to disrupt clearance of such scrums (e.g. restricting the halfback's position). At present, the scrum is harder to clear than to win. The opposite should be healthier. As a concept, legislation for the tighthead fed option scrum, with possible clearance enhancement, is based on player motivation to allow cleaner scrummaging. The more technical approach adopted to date has had limited success and has created a problematical scrum that the best referees struggle to adjudicate on.
As a scrum-half, I was not aware of this. I thought the ball always had to fed on the loose-head side. If the ball was fed from the tight-head side, I presume the opposition scrum-half would have to also follow across to the tight-head side?
From a technical point, I could see a lot more wheeled scrums. Given the natural tendency of the wheel to the LHP side, if we start to coach the hooker to take a feed from the right side, the mechanics of the scrum with THP binding higher and LHP lower to pull the hooker round will definately give a scrum easier to wheel. I can't see how it won't.
Sorry if this don't answer your question, but just putting my tuppence into the hat.
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