Let’s face it, the only people who like the endless minutes of reset scrums are those of us who take to long to get another beer from the fridge, or like to make themselves a cup of tea, whilst watching the match.
No one can remember the last time a scrum went through first time, referees are resetting them so often that they now dispense invaluable coaching tips to the front rows, commentators and pundits are getting increasingly frustrated because even they run out of things to say, and it is just plain boring.
The solution is out there, however!
But the kick-and-clap boys won’t like it, as it is a ‘Leaguey’ invention.
– In the NRL, this season, they are trialing a ‘scrum clock’, and I think Union should have it as well.
In play, a knock-on occurs, no advantage is forthcoming to the non-offending team, so the referee blows his whistle and indicates for a scrum. He then calls for the scrum (or shot) clock to be ‘on’ and the teams have 35 seconds to form the scrum. Hence speeding up the game.
Let us ignore the age-old wisdom of the importance of the ‘dark and manly arts’ of forward play and agree a scrum, in the Laws, is a way to get play restarted. So let’s get play restarted, start the scrum clock, and the players should ‘engage’ within 35 seconds.
Then all we have to do is deal with the endless resets!
Simple, again. If the scrum goes down, then the referee makes a decision – penalty to one side or the other.
In the final round of last year’s 6 Nations, Rugby Union fans were reminded that their game can run, tackle, and score tries. No one was hanging around as they needed as many points as possible.
Maybe the scrum clock can help them re-find that kind of game that was so thrilling to watch.