Naka questions WP's scrum
Bloemfontein – The Free State Cheetahs are questioning the legality of Western Province’s scrumming tactics ahead of Saturday’s Currie Cup semifinal and have e-mailed André Watson and Mark Lawrence about it.
Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské has made it clear that he is expecting a fair front-row battle.
Province dominated the Sharks front row of Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis and Tendai Mtawarira, but apparently not just because they were stronger.
Drotské feels that certain aspects of the home side’s scrumming is suspect and that is why he e-mailed South African referees manager Watson and match referee Lawrence.
“I have e-mailed them about the so-called slingshot engagement at the hit. And also about the loose forwards that release their bind a little early,” said Drotské.
“I have an undertaking by Mark Lawrence and André Watson that they will study footage of it. It’s important for us,” he said.
The so-called slingshot engagement to which Drotské is referring means that the eighthman pulls his locks back and pushes them forwards at the hit.
This results in the team and its front row gaining more momentum at the engagement.
The laws state that all eight players have to be static at the hit and no movement forwards or sideways is allowed. If an eighthman’s shoulders are bound to his locks, it is effectively impossible to use this tactic.
Drotské, however, is not worried about how Lawrence will referee the scrums.
“I don’t think Mark is very technical at the engagement. He allows the players to determine it by themselves and we all prefer it that way.”
The coach expressed his unhappiness after the match against the Sharks in Durban about the manner in which referee Pro Legoete delayed his engage call.
If the playing fields are level and the Cheetahs on form, it’s unlikely that the will struggle in the scrums on Saturday.
Even so, Drotské has a high regard for the WP forwards and believes their good set phases is one of the reasons that they will achieve success this year.
Meanwhile, the Cheetahs have picked an unchanged side from the one that trounced the Leopards 78-7.
Springbok flank Juan Smith takes over the captaincy from hooker Adriaan Strauss, while centre Meyer Bosman and prop CJ van der Linde (heel) have shrugged off minor injuries.
15. Conrad Jantjes, 14. Gio Aplon, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Jean de Villiers, 11. Bryan Habana, 10. Willem De Waal, 9. Ricky Januarie, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Francois Louw, 6. Schalk Burger (captain), 5. Anton van Zyl , 4. Adriaan Fondse, 3. Brok Harris, 2. Deon Fourie, 1. JD Moller
Replacements: 16. Hanyani Shimange, 17. JC Kritzinger, 18. De Kock Steenkamp, 19. Pieter Louw, 20. Dewaldt Duvenage, 21. Lionel Cronje, 22. Paul Bosch
Free State Cheetahs:
15. Hennie Daniller, 14. Philip Snyman, 13. Robert Ebersohn, 12. Meyer Bosman, 11. Corne Uys, 10. Louis Strydom, 9. Tewis De Bruyn, 8. Ashley Johnson, 7. Juan Smith (captain), 6. Hendro Scholtz, 5. Waltie Vermeulen, 4. Francois Uys, 3. WP Nel, 2. Adriaan Strauss, 1. Coenie Oosthuizen
Replacements: 16. Skipper Badenhorst, 17. CJ van der Linde, 18. Izak vd Westhuizen, 19. Kabamba Floors, 20. Tertius Carse, 21. Sias Ebersohn, 22. Riaan Smit