New Zealand Warriors Lift the Hearts of All Rugby League Fans With scrum Push Try

Thankyou New Zealand Warriors for showing the rugby league world the value of scrimmaging.

For too long scrums in rugby league have been an outright embarrassment. If the players don’t want to scrimmage then the formation should be removed from the game. But while it is still part of the game it ought to be contested with the same professionalism as every other aspect of the sport.

Warriors score after winning the scrum against the feed by Parramatta. Photo:

Warriors score after winning the scrum against the feed by Parramatta. Photo:

Instead there has been a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ not to contest the ball. But as this ‘agreement’ has become accepted, and coaches have taken their ‘winning’ the ball for granted, strategies have emerged.

One such strategy had coaches pulling all their forwards from the scrum, so that when their team ‘won’ the ball they wold have more larger attackers against a string of smaller defenders.

Coaches and players had previously defended the ‘no-contest’ scrum by saying it added to the spectacle – enabling more one-on-one attacks; as six men from each team were effectively taken out of play.

Purists argued that the no-contest scrum was (and is) not part of the game.

Rugby League scrums were already a joke:  The ball routinely being fed into the second row – sometimes even being pushed behind them, and straight to the feet of the lock. Referees have always been content to look the other way and allow play to progress.

On Saturday the New Zealand Warriors turned back the clock and showed just how complacent the rest of the league has become. Only ten meters out from their own line the Parramatta Eels fed the scrum and were pushed back by the Warriors. The Warriors were able to regather the ball and score another try – and good on them.

A poll found that 94% of respondents wanted to see scrums contested. Not only is it simply complying with the rules of the game as they stand, but the contest adds to viewers’ enjoyment. 5% disagreed believing the well-documented dangers of scrimmaging out-weighed any benefts.

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