Cody Kuxmann is a Referee at the London Society Of Rugby Football Union Referees, while studying International Relations at Richmond, The American International University in London. He lives in Richmond Upon Thames but hails from Green Bay, Wisconsin. He officiates Rugby Union and Rugby League, and has officiated a Rugby League international, and a few 7s national teams.
LONDON, ENGLAND – It’s been a while since I’ve been able to toot my whistle here because, frankly, it’s taken me a while to think of what I’ve wanted to write about. As one of the more serious pundits here – not to mention the most attractive – it does have its pressures! But that’s for another debate… Anyway, just when I thought my creative cupboard was empty for good, all of the sudden the IRB says, “Here you go!“and plops a new controversy into my hungry hands: Another Major IRB Scrum Change! That’s right, they have once again changed how the scrum will engage.
The new changes come at the end of the UK season. Just when I thought that Crouch, Touch, Set was working fairly well, they up and change it. This year I had maybe 4 resets in my games (I had a lot – at least 60 last season) and was loving it. But at the higher levels it didn’t seem to help that much. Do you know why that was? It was simply due to the fact that a pro team doesn’t want to get marched down the field because the other team is better. Consequently, they will collapse the scrum to take away any attacking advantage the other team has.
So now they have changed it. This time it’s Crouch, Bind, Set. Here the teams will crouch, get a pre-bind on the opponent and then come together. Have a look at how it will potentially be:
So, how will this help? Will it even help? In theory, it means the immense hit will be taken away. No longer will we have the forces come in time after time on the players; making one of the more dangerous areas of the game safer. However, wasn’t this how scrums were formed in the 70s/80s? What’s going to be any different now? To me, players are still going to want to gain that advantage. This gives them no reason to not collapse the scrum moving backwards.
All in all, it’ll be interesting to see how and if it does work out. In the long term will it might just become Rugby League with a ruck. Who knows? But for now, let’s hope the IRB can sort things out.
Thoughts? You’ve got my ear below.