Finally offcials crack down at scrum time.
During the Bledisloe Cup match between Australia and New Zealand, in which the Kiwis triumphed 47-29, referee Craig Joubert did something remarkable, something unheard of.
He penalised the scrum halls for “feeding” the ball into a scrum.
For years now rugby fans have grown accustomed to watching every scrum half in the world put the ball straight into the second rows feet, and scrums never going against the head.
But finally the IRB has clamped down and told referee’s they must enforce the long forgotten rule of the ball being put in straight.
Joubert demonstrated this, penalising the number 9s on five different occasions throughout the match.
This does endless good for the game.
Firstly the hookers are given their jobs back – they are called hookers for a reason, to hook the ball.
It creates a contest between them, as there should be, and brings back the skill of hooking making it a great asset to any front-rower.
Furthermore the whole scrum itself becomes a contest.
The advantage is still with the side putting the ball in, but only just, the opposition now have a decent chance of winning one against the head, as they should do.
This gives the scrums more influence in the match, and will hopefully silence the critics who want to take it out of the game.
fanatix hopes many referee’s will take note of Joubert’s actions, and there will be many more penalties for feeding to come not just in this Rugby Championship, but in all international games.