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Our conversation continues, and the latest episode of The Carter Divide is here.

The iTunes page is here.

All episodes can also be downloaded here.

The match that focused much of the discussion was South Africa v Argentina in the opening round of The Rugby Championship. There are quite a few things that I either take for granted or ignore when watching something like The Rugby Championship, and Ethan’s new perspective has been revealing some of those things. Ethan wasn’t as entertained by the match as I was, but he was again impressed by the way refereeing decisions are made. The use of the Television Match Official, and the fact that television viewers can hear the conversation between the referee and the TMO, has impressed Ethan every time he’s seen a review.

I know that having a referee wear a microphone is nice for viewers. What I did not realize is just how refreshing the refereeing transparency can be for a new fan.

However, Ethan also picked up on how frustrating it can be to watch one scrum reset after another. It is not news that matches dominated by scrum resets and penalties make the game less compelling. Hearing Ethan’s reaction pushes me closer to those howling about the state of scrummaging. I am not howling yet—still clearing my throat.

The conversation included references to a few things worth checking out.

A video on the evolution of the scrum.

World Rugby’s statistical analysis documents, including for the 2014 Rugby Championship.

Information about PRO Rugby’s scrum outcomes.

The site that figures out the probability of different kicks being made.

Values for scrums and lineouts for PRO Rugby here, for 2015 World Cup here. 

Next time we talk, we will be talking about the second round of The Rugby Championship, but I also want to get Ethan looking forward to watching some Americans playing in Europe.