New scrum rule a move in right direction, insists Penney
Munster coach Rob Penney has welcomed a shift from vocal calls to signals between referees and scrum-halves at scrum-time.
The 'yes 9' instruction from match referees which indicates the scrum is ready to be fed, is to be scrapped with immediate effect, and Penney thinks it will bring little or no change to how teams perform in the scrummage.
"I don't think it's going to have any real effect. A lot of referees were using signals anyway so it is legalising something that the referees were finding more effective anyway. But it is a positive," said the Munster coach.
"Sometimes is can be very hard to hear the call over all the crowd noise, so a tap on the shoulder or any other signal is better than talking. Referees had started to use it anyway, so I welcome it."
The Munster coach thinks that the change in rule will also not affect teams that were perceived as trying to use the referee's call as a trigger to shove the scrum.
"It was always too difficult to time the shove based on the referee's call. The half-back shows the front-rows the ball anyway, they can see when it goes in.
"It's not as if it happens so quickly they cannot do anything about it.
"Often the referee would go 'yes 9' and there may be a three or four-second delay before the ball goes in. That was a flawed ploy," he said.