Rugby has changed a great deal since the dawn of professionalism. In the modern game, the most attritional positions are in the front row, where it’s no longer a surprise to see entire units replaced en masse on the hour mark.
However, although the introduction of fresh legs is supposed to give teams the impetuous to see out the final 20 minutes, very often scrum engagements lose any form of cohesion.
This in turn leads to continual resets, where minutes and momentum are lost. In this regard, it’s little wonder why World Rugby have made numerous changes to the scrum laws so as to foster so kind of stability at the set piece.
It isn’t only fans who get frustrated at the sight of collapsed scrums, referees often have to talk the competing front rows through the process of engagement.
Indeed, match officials seem to reach a higher decibel level when blowing their whistle for scrum infringements.
Nigel Owens is one such referee who had enough of the messy process, asking the unfortunate Cardiff Blues and Scarlets front rows “Is this why you’re not starting the game?” after a series of failed engagements in the Welsh Pro12 derby on Sunday.
“Is this why you’re not starting the game?”
Bloody hell Nigel that’s a bit harsh!
?Conán Doherty pic.twitter.com/OtaoGTsqlC
— EatSleepRugby (@eatsleeprugby) January 1, 2017
We review the festive fixtures and look back on 2016 – The Year That Was