Play it straight for game to flow

The Rugby Paper - - Aviva Premiership -

THERE is a grow­ing con­cen­sus – at last – that the scrum, rather than be­ing a col­lapse-fest in which front rows try to con penal­ties out of ref­er­ees, is ac­tu­ally ca­pa­ble of pro­vid­ing great at­tack­ing ball.

With 16 forwards con­cen­trated in a tiny area of the pitch, there are acres of space to be ex­ploited from ball heeled quickly to the No.8, and mul­ti­ple at­tack­ing op­tions avail­able to scrum-halves, backs and back rows.

How­ever, there re­mains a se­ri­ous stick­ing point which ref­er­ees who have been schooled to al­low crooked feeds have not worked out.

It’s this: For the scrum to be re­stored as a gen­uine at­tack­ing plat­form, and for the game to flow and avoid the long, te­dious stop­pages caused by col­lapses, the ball must be put-in straight.

It is phys­i­cally im­pos­si­ble for a hooker to get a quick strike if the ball is put be­hind him into the sec­ond row. A clean, fast heel to the No.8 can only be achieved if the ball is put in at a right-an­gle to the strike.

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