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Admittedly, this one has improved over the past few months with the inception of the new scrum calls. But these calls have yet to be used in Super Rugby, and until they have proven themselves over a length of time, the problem will remain by no means fixed.
How often did we see a scrum set three, four even five times last year?
There were times when five minutes would run off the clock without any action happening. Five minutes! That’s one-sixteenth of a game! Quite ridiculous and rather boring, unless you’re a front row tragic whose thrills come from seeing the men in the low numbers do battle at scrum time.
There’s been much debate on how to fix the problem.
The change in calls was possibly the best suggestion and may be the answer, depending on how fast the referee delivers them. Others suggested stopping the clock, which solves the problem of game time being chewed up, but does little to make for a more exciting and fast-paced game.
My suggestion is one that hasn’t been popularised, but it blows my mind that more people haven’t thought of it.
Give the front rowers proper rugby jerseys to wear. By proper jerseys I mean the ones that were worn throughout rugby history up until the last 10 years or so.
These new jersey’s were developed with the intention of making it harder to grab for defenders. Sure, there is logic in this. But when you have two 900 kilogram packs smashing into each other, the props need something that is easy to bind onto in a split second, not something that is designed to be hard to get hold of.
Yet we constantly analyse why so many scrums collapse—almost mind-boggling, isn't it?