Play it straight for game to flow
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.