Wednesday, July 19, 2006

 
To scrum or not to scrum?

The rugby season must be nearly upon us since the eternal debate of whether to scrummage or not scrummage is once again raising its head (a penalty offence I believe)!

It is only natural and right that eminently qualified individuals should feel compelled to question this skill since it can, sadly, lead to serious injuries. I speak from bitter experience having been forced to retire from the game following a neck injury; though not one brought about through scrummaging. Oh no, mine was caused by a big “po-po” prop landing on my neck during a rucking drill.

The scrum can be a dangerous place; you only have to look at the psychological profiles of many front row forwards to understand the calibre of human being who would willingly place himself in the front row, risking ear malformations, nose replacements and any number of skin complaints. It is, however one of the most policed areas of the game and a vital weapon in any team’s armoury - even the Aussies are taking it seriously now!

Any team that dominates scrum has gone a long way to dominating a match and by removing it from the tapestry of the sport, you would alter it irrevocably. The scrum has already been altered to increase safety, both at age group level and at senior level. Tragically accidents do happen but even though one serious injury is one too many, they happen infrequently when set against the number of individuals who play the game.

What does need to be looked at is the exposure of young men to intensive scrummaging before they have had an opportunity to develop technically ad physically. There is a danger that by placing promising front row players in academies at such an early age you deprive them of the regular matches that would develop the necessary neck and shoulder strength and tactical know-how to cope with the rigours of the game. You will never be able to eradicate neck injuries from the scrum completely but you can reduce the likelihood of them occurring and in this instance, rugby as a whole is taking its responsibilities seriously.

Comments:
How can anyone agree with removing scrums from the modern game - it is mad????? The great thing about rugby is that all sizes and shapes of people can play - and they do!

Great to see that Bayfs has a blog - I loved his last one for the BBC - can't wait to read his next posting
 
correct me if I am wrong but rugby is a contact sport isn't it...lets not turn the great game into that farcical "League" games
 
Lets not go down that route Steve, Rugby League is a great sport and so is Union...having played both they are exciting in their own way and shouldnt be compared. On a separate note can't wait for the new season... Heineken Cup looks tasty - Leicester v Munster
 
By the way I love rugby players lol. I am 19/f and woudl lvoe to chat with any of you on AIM...I'm at melissa4fun1987. Hope to hear from ya!
 
I don't know whether there are many others still playing week-in week-out at my age, I'm 66 and the average age of our team is around 25. I am of course a prop - tighthead. I enjoy the intensity of scrummaging and, in particular, the ' hit' as he front-rows engage.

There is no way I could still be playing, and get selected, without serious training and attention to details such as diet etc. I might add that I've had cancer twice and a heart by-pass in years I've been playing plus the odd bit of bone surgery. So I'm either very lucky or getting something right.

I love the game and the people who play it and sad that Bayfs can't because of a neck injury. He was a great lock and I remember him playing in a testimonial match for a chap who was killed playing some years back.

The forthcoming addition of 'touch' in the engagement procedure should help a bit and I like the ideas being trialed in Stellenboch to allow handling in the ruck, collapsing the maul etc so as to reduce the penalty count. Obviously this'll mean even more work for the guys up front with still less time for 'recovery'. Oh well, maybe I'll have retired by then.

If anyone knows of others playing regularly at my age and beyond, maybe we could get together online and see what we're doing to still be out there every week.
 
um... dude...

it's July 2007 and nothing since this last post.. where the hell are you?
 
I second the anonymous post. Any chance of some more blog?
 
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