Rugby World Cup 2011

Wales expect tough scrum calls

2011-09-07 17:15
Robin McBryde (File)

Wellington - Wales forwards coach Robin McBryde expects referees to take a tough line on scrum infringements at the Rugby World Cup but says it won't be an issue if teams toe the line.

Scrums have been listed as one of five key areas referees will focus on during the world tournament in an effort to eliminate the collapses and resets which often stall games.

McBryde said he had no concerns if referees demanded strict compliance with scrum laws and said Englishman Wayne Barnes, who will control Wales' opening match against South Africa on Sunday, was a stickler in that area.

"There's no excuses," McBryde said. "We know it's become part of the game that needs to be addressed, and I'm sure they'll want to clamp down right from the beginning in the World Cup and not put up with any ill discipline really. I don't think it will be an issue.

"Wayne Barnes is a top-class referee. We're very familiar with Wayne, the way he referees the game and the scrummage. We've been very happy with the way he's done that in the past and we're sure he won't be any different in the game on Sunday."

McBryde, the grizzled veteran of 37 Tests in Wales' front row and its starting hooker at the 2003 World Cup in Australia, said his players were putting a positive spin on a draw which delivers their toughest pool match first up.

Wales have been drawn in a tough pool but have no doubt that the Springboks will deliver their toughest test before the tournament's knockout stages. McBryde said it was necessary to face that challenge positively.

"I think you can look at it both ways, can't you? We look at it in a positive way," he said. "First up is a good thing. That's the way we're approaching it. We're aware that South Africa have played their last game at quite a level of intensity. They've had an extra week as well.

"It will be a challenge. They're quite a big team, very physical and they're the reigning World Cup champions and they won't want to relinquish their crowns. We're first up and they're defending the title so it will be tough."


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