London Scottish and Yorkshire Carnegie locked in minute-long stalemate during match


A match between London Scottish and Yorkshire Carnegie in the Championship turned heads for one of the more bizarre moments you will probably see on a rugby pitch this season.

An unconventional tactic deployed by London Scottish left the two sides locked in a stalemate, with the ball live in play.

The incident came when Scottish were defending a line-out at their own 22. They opted against competing and then refused to bind for a maul.

It meant that Carnegie were unable to move the ball to the back of the group and drive because they would have been called up for obstruction.

What transpired next was a bizarre standoff.

As you can see in the video below, Carnegie waited for Scottish to commit while edging from side to side with their half of the maul. The defending side were effectively avoiding the group, just waiting to engage the ball carrier. After over a minute of what can only be described as a weird version of line dancing, the ball carrier finally attempted to break towards the line but was immediately tackled.

There is a precedent for employing such an ingenious tactic on the much bigger international stage as Italy has been known to use similar methods to frustrate the opposition. In a match against England, Italy refused to commit at the breakdown which allowed them to stand wherever they pleased as no offside line was formed.

England’s coach Eddie Jones was left incensed with the tactic.

"If you paid for a ticket you should ask for your money back. You haven't seen a game of rugby," he said.

"If that's rugby then I'm going to retire. That's not rugby. You're looking to pass and all you can see is one of their players.

Italy v England - NatWest Six Nations

"I'm not critical of our side a bit because we didn't play rugby. We practiced for a game of rugby all week and we didn't get it.”

While others may see the tactic as a clever ruse, it remains to be seen if it works in the long run, as both England and the Yorkshire Carnegie went on to win their respective matches despite the confusing strategy.

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