‘Scrum resets ruining the game’

Former Test referee Jonathan Kaplan says Jaco Peyper had a strong game at Newlands on Saturday despite the number of reset scrums.

Saturday's big derby clash between the Stormers and Vodacom Bulls in Cape Town was meant to be a showcase of all that is good about South African rugby, but was instead blighted by the number of scrum resets and penalties doled out by Peyper.

The Bulls came under immense pressure in the scrums, especially in the first half, with Dean Greyling penalised on four separate occasions, resulting in 12 points for the Stormers.

Bulls coach Frans Ludeke lamented the grey area when it comes to scrums while on SuperSport, former Springbok coach Nick Mallett questioned whether it is time to relook at the scrum laws.

Kaplan, writing for ratetheref.co.za, says that the number of reset scrums is ruining the game, and that referee's need to take a strong stance from the outset.

'A feature of this game [at Newlands] was the number of resets at scrum time. I thought the referee, Jaco Peyper, had a strong game in general, but once again the game was blighted by the number of times the scrum had to be reset.

'This ate up the clock and was not good for the game, the teams, the spectators or the competition. Probably not even for rugby in general.

'It appears the referees are trying to allow a contest and get a certain number of scrum completions, but it appears to have gone a bit too far. I’ve noticed the same thing in the north, and all this does is put extra pressure on the officials to eventually act.

'Teams who have the perceived edge are going to milk situations to gain penalties, and with the margins so small, some games are going to be decided on this very marginal platform.'

Read Kaplan's full column

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