Scrum laws rears ugly head
Ryno Barnes (Gallo Images)
Pretoria - The ugly side of the new scrum sequence reared its head at Loftus Versfeld on Friday in the Blue Bulls 15-9 win over Griquas, with calls that the new mess must be sorted out urgently.Rugby365's website
reports that both Bulls captain Jono Ross and Griquas captain Ryno Barnes were left dumbfounded by the scrum situation throughout the match.
Bulls scrumhalf Ruan Snyman was even yellow-carded for a skew feed at the scrum just over five minutes after coming on as a replacement.
Barnes stopped short of blaming the match official for the mess, but hinted strongly that he may have played a role.
"It was messy rugby all over," the Griquas skipper said, adding: "Both teams made a few mistakes.
"At scrum time, I don't know what was going on," Barnes said.
"Was it the officials or the players? We need to get used to it - it is IRB rules and we need to sort it out."
Asked about the dramatic change from Week One to Week Two, where the powerful Griquas scrum was in command against the Sharks, but constantly blown up at Loftus, Barnes again stopped short of blaming the referee.
"I don't want to comment on any officials or the players, we need to fix it (the scrum mess)," the Griquas hooker said.
"I don't know where it comes from, but we need to fix it."
The Bulls captain, Ross, also avoided pointing the finger at the match official.
He described it as a "scrappy" and "frustrating" game.
"A couple of weird things happened out there, such as a scrumhalf getting a yellow card," Ross said.
"Those are the things we have to adapt to and that is the way it is going to be. I think we need to adapt to it quickly."
Both captains admitted their respective teams have a lot to work on in the coming weeks if they are to challenge for overall honours.
"Here and there we played some good rugby," Barnes said, adding: "We just need to keep the ball.
"That is the brand of rugby we play, to keep the ball, get on the front foot and score some tries.
"We need to go back to that and rectify that."
He also spoke of the 16 turnovers they won.
"It is one aspect where we want to be physical this year, the breakdown. We worked hard at it and we had Todd Louden from Australia helping us out, so it is paying off.
Ross said the Bulls are obviously happy with the win, but bemoaned the scrappy and stop-start nature of the game.
"Maybe the performance wasn't quite there, but there is a lot to work on from our side. We know we can get better."