I was just wondering about how teams are supposed to defend push over tries from 5m scrums?
If the attacking team is pushing forward surely your only two options are to collapse or let them score a try? So basically if your scrum is stronger than the other team's, you are guarenteed a try! it seems rediculous to me that the defending team gets penalised for collapsing when surely it is as much the fault of the attacking team who is pushing forward?
Hi Hellie. You very rarely see a push over try in rugby union these days. Their scarcity would imply that it's not too hard to defend against them, or at least to avoid having a try scored from them. However, there are also so many mitigating factors that cause a scrum to disintegrate or be penalised before it gets to the tryline - not just having a weaker scrum. Let's face it, a lot of the time the ref probably isn't 100% sure what is causing it.
Don't forget, a penalty try can only be awarded when there is absolutely NO DOUBT a try would have been scored. Unfortunately, there are so many factors to a scrum collapse that there will always be an element of doubt to whether a try would have been scored. We saw an example of this in the Chiefs v Blues Super Rugby game last weekend. The Blues had an attacking 5m scrum and kept getting awarded penalties and resetting the scrum. The Chiefs even had a man sent to the sin bin because of all the penalties. Why wasn't a penalty try awarded? Probably because despite all the penalties the referee probably wasn't 100% sure it was the Chiefs fault.
As for your question, from a practical point of view, if you have a weaker scrum, it’s probably better to infringe or collapse the scrum and hope for the best than to concede the try. Sounds cynical, but a lot of rugby is like that.
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