Scrum changes 'good for SA'

2013-05-16 12:12
Pieter de Villiers (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Springbok scrum consultant Pieter de Villiers believes the new law changes at scrums will benefit South African players.

The International Rugby Board (IRB) last week unveiled the latest bid to cope with the persistent problem of scrum collapses in major international matches by announcing the global trial of a new "crouch, bind, set" engagement sequence.

The IRB said it hoped "crouch, bind, set" would reduce impact on engagement by up to 25 percent in elite competition. Implementation will begin at the start of the next season in both hemispheres.

In a revision of the 'crouch, touch, set' engagement sequence currently being trialled, props will be expected to bind using their outside arm after the referee has called "bind" in the sequence.

The front rows will maintain the bind until the referee calls "set". At that point, the two packs will engage.

And De Villiers, who played 69 Tests for France, feels softening the effect of the hit will complement the strengths of South African scrumming.

"This is already the process we’ve introduced at schoolboy level nationwide, so we are familiar with it," De Villiers told the SARugbymag website.

"The hit has been a big part of the scrum battle for years now, but it won’t be a big loss. It was never an original part of rugby. If you look at the bigger picture, the law changes will take the pressure off the referee’s call and the importance of front-row impact.’

This is where De Villiers believes South African scrumming will reap awards

"Our strengths lie in the power of our props and hookers. The packs will now focus on different aspects, like pack cohesion, power scrumming and foot positioning, which complements South African front-rowers."

Read more on:    springboks  |  pieter de villiers  |  rugby

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