10-3-15 The Law According to McCaw & Day of Destiny

Am I missing something or is Richie McCaw offside in every opposition’s scrum? Granted the laws are vague.

20.3 (f) Binding by all other players… Flankers must bind with at least one arm prior to scrum engagement if they remain in front of their offside line.

If they release that arm bind, are they still part of the scrum?

20.1 (g) The referee will call “crouch” and then “bind” … some instructions on how front row binds … Following a pause, the referee will then call “set” when the front rows are ready. The front rows may then engage …

From law 20.3 (f) does this mean all a flanker needs to do is bind with an arm on a lock for a moment during the crouch or bind phase and then they are good to go?

While watching Georgia’s probing of the All Black scrum in their gritty 43-10 loss last night, I kept noticing Richie would slide around to a position in front of his prop with a hand nimbly tugging his lock’s jersey. He paused in what seemed an offside position ready to pounce on any ball coming out the scrum which was wheeling the other way. I know I am not the first to write about the difference between the World Rugby Laws and the Laws According to McCaw. If refs think this is in accord with the laws, I hope one will respond on how.

All the above said I am a huge Richie McCaw fan. I love everything he does even trying to get away with whatever he can. I especially like how he talks to the refs with a seriously pained face imploring them to correct all the injustices the other team is trying to get away with. He has a great career in Hollywood if he ever hangs up his boots.

Last night New Zealand secured the first guaranteed spot in the quarterfinals. Today Japan will battle Samoa to determine who will more than likely get the coveted 3rd place in Pool B and an automatic spot in the 2019 World Cup. Also, South Africa will tussle with Scotland for who will top Pool B. Samoa could yet prove a spoiler if they can find the form they showed when they tied Fiji in California in July. They will need to start today and carry the improvement through their October 10th match with Scotland.

The closing match of the day is the much reported do-or-die tangle between England and Australia. I won’t belabor that England faces the horror of being the first host nation to not make the knock-out round. It is time to put on my gloves and a few layers and head to the bus stop. I’ve gone on line to find a pub in the Stockport area that is advertising World Cup atmosphere. The Plough on Heaton Moor Rd. is calling my name. With any luck I will be settled in with a steak and kidney pie and a pint by the time Samoa launches the Manu Siva Tau, their form of the haka. I’ll have my eye on the flankers to see how much they are exploring the vagaries of the scrum offside laws and developing thoughts on my next rant about the inconsistent application of laws in a driving maul.

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