Cheika keen to 'de-power' scrums
Mon, 17 Mar 2014 20:35
Big repair bill after temper tantrum
Waratahs coach Michael Cheika has joined the growing queue of Australians keen to de-power the scrum, as they struggle to deal with their set-piece deficiencies.
The mentor of the Sydney-based franchise also allowed his frustrations to get the better of him, as he smashed a window at the Canberra Stadium after his team went down 23-28 to the Brumbies at the weekend.
Cheika is likely to get a big repaid bill, after he stormed out of his coaching box at the Stadium and shattered the laminated glass door.
His temper tantrum and his suggestion officials limit the time used for scrums to just 30 seconds are set to keep his named in the headlines longer than he anticipated.
The Waratahs fell agonisingly short of reeling in a 16-point deficit in the final 20 minutes of their Super Rugby loss in Canberra, and Cheika has no doubts what aspect of the game cost his side precious minutes to deliver the finishing blow over their grudge rivals.
"The amount of time it's taking to set the scrums. It's just taking far too long," Cheika said.
"You want the ball in, you want to play, but we wasted an unbelievable amount of time at scrummage.
"Everyone would like that, me included, especially when you're chasing games."
New scrum laws have been introduced in 2014 to help increase actual game time, with the "crouch, bind, set" system requiring packs to bind in advance and stay stationary until the ball is in.
But Cheika wants to speed things up even more.
He raised the issue with SANZAR game manager Lyndon Bray at the referees' meeting at the start of the year - but has heard nothing back since.
"We asked if we could bring in a rule from the time the whistle blows, by 30 seconds the ball should be in," Cheika said.
"It was a good idea at the time and everyone was there, but that was it."
Cheika also drew issue with penalties awarded at the scrum.
There were 14 scrums in Saturday's match, the Brumbies winning all five of their own, as well as earning penalties in several of the Waratahs' nine feeds.
"There's just inconsistency across the board around who's collapsing, who's wheeling," Cheika said.
"I was really disappointed with the scrum at the end there that they got given again, when really that ball should have been given to us."
While the ensuing penalty goal from that scrum shut the door on the Waratahs, that didn't stop Cheika from all-too-hastily opening one of his own.
He stormed out the of the coaching box with such force that he accidentally splintered the laminated glass door.
The Brumbies will send a damage bill to Waratahs headquarters this week after coach Cheika stormed out of his box at Canberra Stadium and shattered the laminated glass door.
The Waratahs maintain the splintered glass was an "accident" and are waiting to be contacted by stadium officials before deciding if they will pay the AU$700 price tag for a replacement.
Cheika left the box when the Brumbies won the scrum penalty in the last minute of the game and the glass door shattered when he opened it in frustration.
Several Brumbies members witnessed the incident and it's understood it was also recorded on Canberra Stadium's closed circuit television system.
"It was an accident. We're sure accidents happen from time to time and things get broken every now and then," a Waratahs spokesman said.
"It's up to the stadium to do what they have to do and we'll respond accordingly."
Cheika said his frustration stemmed from the playing time which was chewed up by scrum set ups and resets.
According to television commentary, it prompted Cheika to confront referee Jaco Peyper on the sideline.
"There was a lot of intensity and I thought the referee did a pretty good job,'' Cheika said.
Sources: AAP & The Canberra Times
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