New Zealand Rugby
All Blacks enjoy taste of scrum laws
August 1, 2013
New Zealand's Richie McCaw and Matt Todd observe scrum training at an All Blacks training session, North Harbour Stadium, Auckland, New Zealand. August 1, 2013
Richie McCaw and Matt Todd observe their team-mates putting the laws into practice © Getty Images

New scrummaging laws will occupy the minds of the All Blacks tight forwards brains trust in the rundown to the opening Beldisloe Cup Test of The Rugby Championship against Australia on August 17.

The members of the All Blacks squad who have been training in Auckland over the past two days, without the Chiefs who are involved in the Super Rugby final, had their first stint under the new scrum engagement laws on Thursday. And veteran hooker Andrew Hore said there were some obvious differences to be sorted. Hore said the first point was that the hit upon engagement was not as hard as previously. He said he could feel the pressure, even when they didn't have all eight involved in the scrum.

"It's going to be interesting to see who comes up with the way to use it best," Hore said. "It is pretty exciting really, it will keep the scrum in games and keep building on things.

Hore felt hookers would find it more difficult to hook the ball, and it would come down to the referees' calling the ball in and the half-backs to put the ball in straight. "We'll keep chipping away at it next week and hopefully by the time we play the Aussies on the 17th [August] we've got some sort of plan," he said.

Hore said the props said the brief initial stint on the scrum seemed promising, noting it was the first scrum session for a long time without collapses. "That's got to be going in the right direction and hopefully we can get a grip with it in the next couple of weeks and start playing some good footy with it."

The new laws would be good for the scrummagers, Hore said. "There is nowhere to hide. You can't dive to the ground or anything so you're locked in. Hopefully if you do things right, we've been pretty well coached through the years so if we do things right with a short hit we should be pretty good."

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen observes his forwards practising scrummaging under the new laws © Getty Images
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