Friday Morning … And An Open Thread

More sick today and lacking sleep from a restless night. Am taking care of some necessary projects this morning, then going home to rest and hopefully regroup. Will blog later.

Because of this, I’d like to use this post as an open thread in the comments today and for the weekend. What do all of you feel like talking about? Any ideas, issues, challenges?

Inevitably, I post something and people tell me that it’s something they have thought about too, so this is your chance to be the blogger today.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Friday Morning … And An Open Thread

  1. Chris

    How about this as a topic:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/5014162.stm

    Surgeon recommends uncontested scrums a la rugby league.

  2. Kerrie

    I don’t play rugby league but that sounds physically revolting (could be the nice case of the spins I have from thursday night clubbing, but still). That brings me to my one beef as a collegiate women’s side hooker (heh besides line-outs). Feeding sucks ass. Why do teams feel the need to do it. It eliminates the good ol’ quickdraw duel up front, it eliminates MY job. It effectively kills any sort of skill and finesse, not saying the ball isn’t still there for the stealing (driving off or just plain flexability). But feeding isn’t just cheating against the other team, it’s also cheating your own hooker out of her pride. D2 teams don’t do it a whole lot (even at the national level) but way too many teams depend on it just to win their ball back. Does anyone know the full legality of it. Is it grey area and thus permisable? It’s just a bitch on my loosehead’s shoulders when I have to dip vertical just to get a toe on a ball thats fed onto their loosehead’s outer foot. =p sorry for the rant but come now dontcha wanna see a fair hooker duel?

  3. Anonymous

    Kerrie:
    A team should be more concerned with getting the ball back to their #8 or scrumhalf than they should with a “hooker duel.” If a team has one steal against the head, that is considered poor. If a scrumhalf can get away with feeding, than they are doing their job, which is to give advantage to their team. The hooker position is a front row position, so you should concern yourself with feeding the ball back first, but as important is providing an organized shunt with your other front row partner and the second row. If a hooker has to do any more than the quick side swipe to return the ball to the #8, than your technique is poor.

    Dan

  4. Alison

    I disagree with Dan. First of all, feeding is technically illegal so if a ref sees it and cares they can call you for it–usually they just warn first and most of them don’t actually pay attention, but I think they should. If the pack is doing what they’re supposed to be doing then feeding really isn’t necessary.

  5. mutantin

    i agree with kerrie and am totally opposed to the whole uncontested scrum thing. i mean, whats the use of playing rugby union when you don’t have a proper scrum?
    if i was paranoid, i’d say this is all brought up by the 7aside mafia.

  6. Kerrie

    My term hooker duel was to mean a contest for first strike (which usually implies a cleanly won ball). And my concern on feeding pretty clearly implies that I’m not concerned about winning my own ball but contesting the other teams put-in. My team managed to dominate league play this year by winning pretty much every single scrum-down whether or not it was their ball or ours, leading to an extreme advantage in possession (not to mention it’s nice when you can still gain territory and possession off a knock-on). The only time that this was not the case was when we played against teams blatently feeding into the loosehead. *shrugs* hence the frustration when refs don’t call it or choose to ignore it

  7. Anonymous

    I am definitely for contested scrummaging, that is one aspect of rugby union that I find superior to rugby league.

    I think Alison may have been missing my point about feeding. It is definitely illegal. Most refs never played in the front row, so they are not particularly looking for that infraction. The way I was coached was to take full advantage of the rules and if you have to go around the rules without being caught, so much to your team’s advantage. That may offend some and I understand that.

    Some of the aspects of the put-in that one could do to get around the rules I was taught would be:

    -on an important put in, the defensive scrumhalf can stamp on the offensive scrumhalf’s left foot. This tends to skew their toss to your hooker’s foot.
    -the defensive scrumhalf can join their body right next to the offensive scrumhalf and as the offensive scrumhalf lowers the ball to put it into the tunnel, the defensive scrumhalf can grab the left arm of the scrumhalf and the ball will skew to the defensive scrum.
    -if you have a good flanker on the defensive put-in side, they can aid with hooking the ball back, as your scrumhalf intentionally gets in the way of the referee.

    I agree with Kerrie on her last post, that a ref that sees the feeding and does not call it, is not calling the game properly

  8. John Birch

    The letter in the BMJ has received a remarkable amount of coverage considering its a single page item from on doctor and contains a fair hatfull of factual errors, before you even start looking at the data.

    As for the data, he mentions 52 reported serious neck injuries in four sports – rugby league, rugby union, aussie rules, and association football.

    Of these he says that seven came from union scrums (no mention of wherethe other 45 came from, beyond none coming from league scrums).

    Of these seven SIX stemmed from the engage – the initial hit – so the “problem” of several hundredweight of muscle pushing at each other is… well, not as significant as reports might make it appear.

    It does raise a question about the “hit” maybe – which, in the UK at least, does not happen in junior rugby, which in turn raises an important coaching question (ie. how many of these injuries were to juniors unused to that initial hit?) which may be worth looking at – but there is no evidence in his brief paper for any ban.

    And a good things too. As a jinmior coach it isn’t the scrums that ever worry me – ther are well rehersed, stable, affairs – but the maul. Ban the former and the (potentially more dangerous) latter would have to go as well. Which really does leave you with rugby league…

    Also the good doctor ignores the fact that – scrum half aside – statistically the safest place to be on the field is in the tight five. Indeed a reasonable rule of thumb is that the higher the number is on your back, the greater your chance of injury!

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