Super 14 Scrum Resets – 2006, 2007

Again we compare 2007 with its new scrum procedure with 2006 and its shorter scrum procedure. Again it seems that, with resets as our gauge, we were worse off in 2006 than we were in 2007.

Resets happen if scrums go down or go up or go sideways. That can happen because of timing, slipperiness and so on, but there are far too many. Going down/collapsing is the most dangerous of those actions. When that happened to Paul Cannon recently he hurt the neck he had hurt last year and gave up rugby.

When the Waratahs played the Highlanders in Sydney this last weekend the Waratahs put the ball into five scrums. None collapsed. In the first half the Highlanders put the ball into six scrums. There were eight collapses – because two scrums collapsed twice each. In the case of two collapses play went on because the ball was set to emerge. The 12 Highlander put-ins produced 11 collapses. That is no good at all.

It’s no good from a spectator’s point of view and it’s not good from the point of view of player safety.

The scrums take too long. When the Brumbies played the Force, a whistle went for a scrum. The scrum was reset twice and then the front rows were told that if they could not do it properly other front-row players would be brought on. Adding up all of that it took two minutes and three seconds from whistle to ball emerging from scrum.

Fortunately this was the worst of the 16 scrums in the match. Imagine if every scrum had been like that and over half an hour was cut from the match! And when the Chiefs played the Sharks there were 32 scrums in the match.

Some line-outs are not great either .When the Reds played the Cheetahs at one line-out from the time the ball went out to when it came in it took 39 seconds, and there were 32 line-outs in the match. If each one lasted 39 seconds over 20 minutes would be cut from the match.

The referee spoke to the Cheetahs’ hooker, telling him to speed up his delivery. This was after a line-out had taken 43 seconds to get the ball back into play. It was an ordinary line-out, too. A forward had bundled a forward into touch, which meant that the forwards were all close at hand but the hooker stood, poised, statue-like, for 20 seconds before throwing the ball in.

Just a little wonder: why do the laws say that only the thrower at a quick throw-in from touch is allowed to handle the ball in touch? Why is a player not allowed to pass the ball down the touch-line to a team-mate for him to throw in quickly? Could be fun.

1. Resets

The reset figures do not include wheeled scrums. A wheeled scrum becomes simply a new scrum.

In the first week of Super 14 2006, 62 scrums out of 136 were reset – 45%
In the first week of Super 14 2007, 41 scrums out of 134 were reset – 30%

In the second week of Super 14 2006, 41 scrums were reset out of 129 – 32%
In the second week of Super 14 2007, 37 scrums were reset out of 128 – 29%

In the third week of Super 14 2006, 56 scrums were reset out of 158 – 35%
In the third week of Super 14 2007, 35 scrums were reset out of 146 – 24%

In the fourth week of Super 14 2006, 40 scrums were reset out of 128 – 31%
In the fourth week of Super 14 2007, 32 scrums were reset out of 107 – 30%

In the fifth week of Super 14 2006, 56 scrums were reset out of 131 – 43%
In the fifth week of Super 14 2007, 54 scrums were reset out of 146 – 37%

In the sixth week of Super 14 2006, 45 scrums were reset out of 140 – 32%
In the sixth week of Super 14 2007, 45 scrums were reset out of 127 – 35%

In the seventh week of Super 14 2006, 29 scrums were reset out of 127 – 23%
In the seventh week of Super 14 2007, 49 scrums were reset out of 130 – 38%

In the eighth week of Super 14 2006, 39 scrums were reset out of 133 – 29%
In the eighth week of Super 14 2007, 49 scrums were reset out of 119 – 41%

In the ninth week of Su

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