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Nicholas Bishop

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Joined January 2016

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Nick Bishop has worked as a rugby analyst and advisor to Graham Henry (1999-2003), Mike Ruddock (2004-2005) and most recently Stuart Lancaster (2011-2015). He also worked on the 2001 British & Irish Lions tour to Australia and produced his first rugby book with Graham Henry at the end of the tour. Three more rugby books have followed, all of which of have either been nominated for or won national sports book awards. Nick’s latest is a biography of Phil Larder, the first top Rugby League coach to successfully transfer over to Union, entitled “The Iron Curtain”. He is currently writing articles for The Roar and The Rugby Site, and working as a strategy consultant to Stuart Lancaster and the Leinster coaching staff for their European and Pro 14 playoff matches. Leinster achieved the double of European Champions Cup and Pro 14 league winners in 2018. They repeated their Pro 14 win in 2019 and finished runners-up to Saracens in Europe.

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Yes, what you describe is a very common manipulation of the laws, with the 8 frequently shifting over on both feeds in order to get a jump on the play. This is the sort of offence touch judges should be able to pick up without the ‘interpretation’ needed for front -row technical offences. So it should all be quite simple 😁

Is the bajada the way forward for the modern scrum?

I didn’t reply because your post is off-topic. The main issue is not collapsing of the scrum (which is relatively rare now), but rotation and how to combat it.

Is the bajada the way forward for the modern scrum?

Yep and if TPN didn’t feel he could afford to take one foot off the ground, it tells you something about the pressures he was under! 😁 🏉

Is the bajada the way forward for the modern scrum?

The more you learn, the more of a mystery they become Phil!

Is the bajada the way forward for the modern scrum?

👍

Is the bajada the way forward for the modern scrum?

and it’s why the body-shape of hookers has changed so much in the pro era. He just cannot get away with being small and flexible any more.

Is the bajada the way forward for the modern scrum?

This would prob only be possible at amateur level where he pressures are not so great!

Is the bajada the way forward for the modern scrum?

I think it’s simply about what is practical and safe at pro level. When they tried to enforce completely straight feeds a while back, it all stopped within a handful of weeks because there weren’t any hookers who could reach the ball and live to tell the tale! So people started leaving the ball in the middle of the tunnel and looking to drive over it. Hence…

Is the bajada the way forward for the modern scrum?

The problem I have with that scrum and that decision is that France’s scrum never looks like maintaining its cohesion or binding, let alone staying straight for the duration. Yes Slimani stands up (he’s clearly applying force upwards not forwards) but I don’t see any necessity to reward that action.

Is the bajada the way forward for the modern scrum?

😔

Is the bajada the way forward for the modern scrum?

European teams are 100% under-bound AFAIK. Would be interesting to ask Mario Ledesma if he knows of any in the Top 14 who use the over-bound method!?

Is the bajada the way forward for the modern scrum?

Yes – if you recall they tried to make 9’s put it in the middle a few seasons ago – then found that the hooker simply couldn’t raise his foot to strike, such were the forces being applied. So now we essentially have three props in the front row.

Most props when I grew up were about 100 kilos, now that’s 120+. Hookers have grown even larger. Brian Moore was only 85-90 kilos back in the day, now 115 kilo plus monsters are pretty common.

Is the bajada the way forward for the modern scrum?

The ball is put on underneath the hooker’s feet nowadays Jez, so it’s not like he needs the flexibility of the amateur era (swinging around in the tunnel!). Essentially it would be a pushing contest after the ball touches his foot…

Is the bajada the way forward for the modern scrum?

Exactly! 👍

Is the bajada the way forward for the modern scrum?

I recall John Fogarty (the Leinster hooker and coach) telling me he could feel himself blacking out as the pressure from William Servat became too great in one set-piece against Toulouse. He was unconscious by the end of the scrum.

Is the bajada the way forward for the modern scrum?

I think a wheel is okay, as long as it doesn’t win a pen and isn’t achieved by giving way on one side of the scrum.

Its ‘reward’ should be exposing a hole in the defence, particularly is the defending team is forced to respect offside lines and ‘bind at all times’ rules.

Is the bajada the way forward for the modern scrum?

Striking for the ball has become a very rare art given the pressures in the pro scrum Jez, lion’s share of the pens are awarded to the team feeding now as they manipulate angles. They cannot achieve anything on oppo feed, which should tell you a lot!

Is the bajada the way forward for the modern scrum?

Yes it is a great scrum moving forward on the THP… But again I feel the ref can afford to shift his attention away from the F/R and more towards the B/R if he wants to award a pen.

Is the bajada the way forward for the modern scrum?

He was bigger than both of our props, and he ‘drove the bus’ – they were the tour guides in the front seats!

Is the bajada the way forward for the modern scrum?

Doesn’t Alan Jone Jones want to convert TT to hooker a la Tom Lawton?

Is the bajada the way forward for the modern scrum?

True, but they are both ‘honest’ scrums because they come from the same background, so are no trying to work around the side!

Is the bajada the way forward for the modern scrum?

Cheers MZ – and thanks for taking the time to think it through…

My points of disagreement: 1. The under bind v over bind . “The problem with the under-bind is that it tends naturally to pull the two second-rowers apart as they struggle to stay in the sweet spot behind the backside of the props in front of them.” I just don’t agree that this is the case. The under bind is the easier, stronger, and kinder on the shoulder joint bind. It is easy to achieve that “sweet spot” below the props buttock. My experience as a player and coach is that there is no pulling apart of the second rows.

My experience with under-binds is that when the pressure came on, you would feel it in your outside shoulder, the shoulder behind the prop. The hooker would often show the first backward movement, or get lifted if he was not strong enough to stay in the scrum. Amplify this, and the two second rows move apart as the momentum develops.

The main problem with the modern habit of scrumming for pens is that players within the scrum split into pods, with one pod doing one thing on their side, and a second pod using a very different behaviour. The ref penalizes on any forward motion he sees, regardless of whether it occurs on both sides of the scrum. Moving the application of power towards the middle of the scrum is a way of preventing this from happening.

Is the bajada the way forward for the modern scrum?

The Force Bungarra, sounds good to me TLN. 👍

Is the bajada the way forward for the modern scrum?

Always good to take something from nations who love a particular area best – as Argentina does with the scrum – and use it for wider benefit Muzz!

Is the bajada the way forward for the modern scrum?

I would have used examples from the England game if there had been more overhead angles, but sadly there weren’t JN!

SA scrum was only ‘dominating’ when Vunipola and Cole were on the field together, as soon as Marler came on for Mako the advantage switched.

Is the bajada the way forward for the modern scrum?