‘Time to revisit scrum laws’

What former Springbok coach NICK MALLETT had to say on SuperSport about Saturday's matches involving South African teams.

On the scrums

'There were so many scrums in this game which actually favoured the Stormers because their front row was so dominant. The Bulls gave away four penalties from scrums and one for Dean Greyling not giving daylight – that's 15 points.

'Greyling wasn't able to maintain his feet. His feet were too far back. He's had scrummaging problems for the past three years.

'If the Bulls want to play the style of rugby they do, they have to have a solid front row, and unfortunately Greyling doesn't provide that for them.

'When Trevor Nyakane came on in the second half it was marginally better. If he had started, it would've given the Bulls a far better chance.

'The scrums where the Stormers dominated turned into points for them, but the lineouts that the Stormers lost didn't turn into points for the Bulls.

'It's frustrating to me that the laws allow 15 points from scrum penalties. The lawmakers need to look at an indirect penalty [free kick] for scrum offences, because if a side is going to win a game or, heaven forbid, a World Cup simply on front-row dominance, it would be a travesty.

'Why aren't you going to give a penalty because you lose a lineout? It just doesn't seem fair.'

On Duane Vermeulen

'Vermeulen's work at the breakdown is absolutely outstanding. He won a couple crucial turnover balls for them.

'It's his ability to play to the ball when he hasn't got it that is the difference between him and Spies. Spies has abilities in the lineout and running from open play, but Vermeulen is definitely the No 8 who gives you more security going into a Test match.'

On the Stormers attack

'The tries the Stormers have scored in the past couple of weeks have usually been long-range tries from turnover balls. They haven't been creating tries off their own ball.

'Demetri Catrakilis isn't really a flyhalf who gets the best out of a backline. Unfortunately when Kurt Coleman – who does get the best out of a backline – came on, he made two kicking errors which Catrakilis wouldn't have made.

'If Coleman wants to get ahead you can't kick a 22 dropout into touch and you can't miss touch with a vital penalty. Those are two important lessons that he learned today.'

On the Bulls

'Just look at the try the Bulls scored. We've got to give credit to the Bulls because a while back they would've passed to a forward, set up a ruck and box kicked it.

'But turnover ball is your best opportunity to attack and it's the one that the New Zealanders exploit all the time against South African teams.

'Hougaard does wonderfully well – he finds himself between two forwards, beats them for pace, straightens just prior to making the pass and helps set Bjorn Basson away.'

On the two local derbies

'We saw two diametrically different games today. There was a lot of skill in that first game [Lions vs Cheetahs], a lot of width, great lines of running and offloads.

'Unfortunately in the second match, because of the pressure on the players, the coaches both decided to play a very narrow game and the Bulls, because of their front row, were 15 points down before they could even get into the game.'

On Elton Jantjies

'Jantjies was absolutely superb today. The way he took it flat, the way he created opportunities for his centres and the linebreaks he made himself made a massive difference to the way the Lions played.

'Jantjies has benefited greatly from the ball-in-hand game the Lions are trying to play. The whole team is focused towards keeping it in hand, trying to offload, quick ruck ball, using the width of the field, playing off 10, running angles and he just relishes that.

'If you put him into a game where he has to stand back and let the forwards run off nine, and then he has to kick and up-and-under – I don't think you get the best out of Jantjies. I think the Lions are getting the best out of him with the way they play.'

Five lessons from round 11 of Super Rugby

Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images

Post by

Nick Mallett