Scrum ‘lottery’ frustrates WP

Tue, 27 Aug 2013 18:51
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Western Province have voiced their frustration over referees’ interpretation of the new scrum sequence ahead of Friday’s clash with the Golden Lions.
 

Western Province have voiced their frustration over referees’ interpretation of the new scrum sequence ahead of Friday’s clash with the Golden Lions at Ellis Park.

The new crouch, bind, set scrum sequence has had mixed results since its recent inception at the start of the Currie Cup competition.

Bulls captain Jono Ross and his Griquas counterpart Ryno Barnes were perplexed when the engagement sequence dominated their dire Round Two fixture at Loftus Versfeld, which Griquas coach Pote Human branded “one of the worst games I've watched, as a spectator or as a coach.”

Western Province coach Allister Coetzee and senior players Deon Fourie and Gio Aplon on Tuesday added their voices to the call of concern over the law change and its interpretation after their stop-start encounter against Griquas in Kimberley at the weekend.

“It [the interpretation of the new scrum sequence] still changes from ref to ref. I would have liked for it to be settled by now but some refs allow certain things and others don’t,” Coetzee said.

“The thing that is starting to get frustrating is assistant referees start making calls and trying to assist the ref. I think the ref will sort it out and he must be given a chance to sort it out.

“[Assistant referees make calls] from 50 metres out on the far side [of the scrum]. I don’t know how they see so well but they do make those calls and it influences referees and puts unnecessary pressure on a referee.

“We’ve got Jaco Peyper this weekend. Jaco is an experienced referee and a good referee, so he’ll be able to deal with that contest. It’s good to have top refs like Jaco blowing this stage of the Currie Cup and make sure that this thing settles.”

Captain and flank Fourie echoed Coetzee’s sentiments, saying, “Some refs allow a quick feed and others want it static, so it’s something that needs to be looked at to find a balance.”        

Springbok fullback Aplon felt the set-piece situation last Saturday halted the development of the defending champions’ young backline.

“This weekend was frustrating because we didn’t really get opportunities to attack due to the scrum lottery because you don’t know what’s going to happen,” Aplon said.

“The previous two games - except for the last 20 minutes against the Bulls - were much better from an attacking point of view and we really wanted to build on that, that’s why it was so disappointing for us.

“Having said that, we’ll get another opportunity this weekend against a Lions team who are very good with ball in hand. It will test our defence but it will also give us opportunities to attack, so we’re really looking forward to it.

“We have exciting youngsters like Cheslin [Kolbe], Mikey [Michael van der Spuy] and Tim [Swiel] that we want to bring into the game, so hopefully the set pieces will be sorted out so we can launch our attacks from them.”    

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