And while we are at it...

The Daily Telegraph - Rugby World Cup - - Sport: Rugby World Cup 2015 -

Ref­er­ees re­ally ought to note the his­tory of the Aussie scrum. Though much im­proved un­der Mario Ledesma, it still dropped four times in a row against Ar­gentina re­cently when James Slip­per was shown the yel­low card for re­peated in­fringe­ments.

It still il­le­gally drives on en­gage­ment, ad­vanc­ing a cru­cial foot over the mark, ef­fec­tively front-load­ing the Aussie drive. Scott Sio still uses the un­der­arm bind to drop the scrum and Sekope Kepu also bores in at an an­gle.

These scrum il­le­gal­i­ties, which all packs – in­clud­ing Eng­land’s – in­dulge in, might cost three points, but what Aus­tralia do with their driv­ing mauls is equally il­le­gal and it re­wards them with tries and many more points than any num­ber of scrum in­fringe­ments.

The se­ries of pic­tures on the right fol­low Aus­tralian driv­ing mauls from line-out balls caught close to the Fi­jian line in their pool game. They scored 14 points from these il­le­gal­i­ties; two out of their three tries against Fiji when they just fell short of get­ting a try bonus point.

1 This pic­ture shows the drive for David Po­cock’s first try. You can see the ini­tial point of con­tact, which is where the Aussie lock is stood up­right. From there the Aussies have moved it back sev­eral play­ers and have formed a tail on the maul, which pre­vents any Fi­jian player get­ting any­where near the ball.

If the ball was driven from the ini­tial con­tact or just one player fur­ther back a Fi­jian for­ward would at least have a chance to con­test the ball. They can­not do so be­cause there are now at least two Aus­tralian for­wards ob­struct­ing them in front of Po­cock.

The next se­ries of three pic­tures shows ex­actly how Aus­tralia il­le­gally drive their mauls from line-outs and the way they scored their sec­ond try is even more ne­far­i­ous.

2 You can see in this one that Po­cock, who is the player with

the ball and par­tially ob­scured, has taken it off the catcher, who is the player stood erect and par­tially in shot. That is the ini­tial point of con­tact.

3 How­ever,

the next photo shows Po­cock has ac­tu­ally stepped back­wards, al­low­ing other Aus­tralian for­wards to il­le­gally bind in front of him. Note the Aussie No 1, who was ac­tu­ally bound be­hind Po­cock in the pic­ture above is now in front of Po­cock (far right) and Stephen Moore, the Aussie cap­tain has also inserted him­self in front of Po­cock.

4The

maul de­vel­ops which clearly shows the Aussie for­wards again driv­ing one be­hind the other, elon­gat­ing the maul and pre­vent­ing any Fi­jian for­ward con­test­ing the ball. Also note in pic­tures three and four, first Moore and then Po­cock him­self are merely hang­ing on to the shorts of the player in front of them. This is a breach of Law 17,2 (c) which clearly states that putting your hand on an­other for­ward does not con­sti­tute proper bind­ing.

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