Should SARU agrees to full contest scrums at Craven Week 2019?

This blog started out as an April Fool’s Day joke!

In a move aimed at providing SA Schools selectors with a better idea of who their top scrummers are, SARU could decided to relax the inhibiting “1.5 metre” scrum push rule for Craven Week 2019. This would mean that senior level style full-contest scrums would be the order of the day for the 5-match day event held during the last week of the July school holidays.

While Northern Hemisphere development programmes are placing greater emphasis on identifying and improving scrumming ability amongst teenagers, the same attention to detail is no longer applicable in South Africa where safety measures have controlled the contest and thereby drastically reduced the significance of being able to scrum well.

The law amendment introduced several years ago effectively results in a penalty against a team who pushes their opponents backward beyond 1.5 metres point during a scrum in the higher school age-group matches. Although this amendment has had notable success in it’s safety goal and reduced the number of scrum penalties, it has also become a build-in protector of weaker frontrow players and to a degree has also allowed school age-group level coaches to focus less on the disciple of scrumming. When compared to their European counterparts, Saffa school level prop forwards are spend disproportionately more of their training time honing other skills in relation to scrum-work.

The end result is that South African rugby at the professional level is becoming increasingly susceptible to a type of Ozziefication. Australia is renowned for neglecting their scrumming for over a decade and paying a high price for this on the international stage, as their systems failed to produce the quality of specialists needed to execute the highly demanding role to the minimum standard required. Scrum penalties and resultant yellow cards have been highlighted in the past by the ARU as a major area of concern and have definitely been a contributor to Wallaby defeats in test matches between 2003 and 2015.

Safety at Craven Week is paramount. With SARU being able to carefully manage the on-field in terms of the calibre of suitably qualified and experienced match officials as well as the sidelines medical staff appointed for the premier national youth week, the controlled environment sort after is a notch up from a normal interschools event and the scrumming feedback obtained could be meaningful in terms of planning going forward.

 

 

12 Comments

  1. It was interesting to hear about the recent trials for this which happened at SAS in Stellenbosch. Although nobody got seriously injured I hear the coaching staff were not too keen on this because of the varied growth rates at junior level. The larger boys seemed to enjoy it though. So before fatties become fashion again, they need to think this thing through properly. If they really want to teach the kids to contest properly in the scrums, how about starting by enforcing the rule that the ball needs to be fed into the scrum straight to start off with?

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  2. Tipiese gryp na strooihalms. Na ses jaar se sukkel in die skrums het Helpies uiteindelik ‘n pak wat vorentoe beweeg hoor ek deesae LOL Wie gee om? Daar is maar omtrent 10 skrums in ‘n wedstryd. Ek speel enige tyd 8 manne wat netsowel losvoorspelers kon wees om voor te speel. 1.5 meter is meer as genoeg op skoolseun vlak om die bal te verower as die seuns reg afgerig word. Fokus liewer julle energie op spelers wat gekies word se onvermoë om reg te verdedig en ordentlike duikslae uit te voer.

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  3. @Smallies: eventueel sal jy oor alles met my saamstem

    uitgesluitjou gcb -fiksasie-daarvoor het jy ouens nodig met n wit jas

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  4. @boerboel: Ek sit juis met n Vaskop by die huis wat o/15 speel. Hy moes B span speel terwyl die skool flanke op hakker en hakkers op stut speel. B span het nou die dag die A span ernstig gebuig in die skrum oefeninge. 2 beserings het hom darem n gap in die A span gegee. (jammer dat die 2 seuns moes seerkry sodat hy kans kon kry om in die starting lineup te kom)

    Met die 1.5m reel kan mens maar 6 losvoorspelers en 2 slotte (en dalk nog 2 flanke) kies ipv 2 stutte en n woelige hakker.

    Selfs gehoor van coaches wat strategies hulle eie skrums laat agteruit gaan sodat die 1.5m reel uitgebuit kan word vir strafskoppe. (laerskole vlak)

    Ek dink vanaf 0/16 moet die 1.5m reel gelos word. Spanne/voorspelers sal die bal maar moet opgee in die skrums as hulle nie ordentlike vaste 5 kan speel nie…….. maar dit van ‘n vaskop se pa af

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  5. Die hartseer is dat Pietie op /13 – /16 vlak nooit A span speel nie, want hy is te groot en stadig. En meeste afrigters weet boggorol van skrumwerk af.

    Nou kom die kinders op senior vlak en Pietie, wat die bou en moontlik mentaliteit het om ‘n wilde voorry te wees, het nooit ontwikkel in dia laer spanne nie en almal skarrel rond om die skrum te red.

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  6. @Rainier: ek glo vas dat jy onder ons klub spanne voorye sal kry wat sogenaamde professionele voorye sal breek,hoekom want op klub vlak scrum jy BAIE

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  7. @Smallies: het nou die dag gelag toe Thomas du Toit swaer kry teen daai longeling van die Bulls. Met hele paar caps agter sy naam het ek gedink hy sou beter kom doen. Selfde gebeur teen Ali Vermaak laasjaar Dis maar rof daar voor. Selfs vir 135kg Sprinbokke

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