Player23 to save the scrum?

2009-04-06 22:12

By Stephen Nell - Die Burger

Cape Town – The days of uncontested scrums are numbered and player23 will become a reality with a new law the International Rugby Board (IRB) is set to approve in May. This will compel all teams to pick 8 substitutes instead of 7.

The law will ensure that a specialist in each of the three front row positions will be picked on the substitutes bench.

South African manager of referees Andre Watson said the new law is set to become a reality from 1 August.

“There will in future be 8 players on the bench, of which you are allowed to use 7. Among the 8 we will have a loosehead prop, hooker and tighthead prop,” Watson told Sport24.

If all 7 substitutes have been used and a frontranker is injured, a specialist front-row player may be brought on as an eighth substitute.

The issue of uncontested scrums came to the fore again on Saturday when Stormers prop Wicus Blaauw left the field injured and Brian Mujati was replaced with Tiaan Liebenberg because of cramp in the 6-12 defeat to the Waratahs in Sydney.

That meant the scrums were uncontested from the 65th minute onwards.

“They were injured,” said Stormers coach Gary Gold when he was asked whether the injuries had been feigned as a way of dealing with the Waratahs’ scrumming power.

“In an ideal world we would have had JD Moller scrumming. He could not prove himself with uncontested scrums,” said Gold.

It is, however, not the first time that the Stormers have been forced to resort to uncontested scrums.

It also happened in the 8-14 defeat to the Blues and after Saturday’s incident the perception may be created that the Cape side is not up to facing opponents in the scrum.

Gold, however, was unhappy with referee Bryce Lawrence’s handling of the scrums on Saturday.

“I am surprised that Bryce penalised Wicus. How could he decide that Wicus deliberately collapsed the scrum on our feed?

“The game’s decision-makers put a lot of pressure on the poor referees to interpret the situation.”

The Waratahs had little doubt that the Stormers scrummed illegally.

Flank Schalk Burger glided in on loosehead prop Benn Robinson, which reportedly angered the Australian side.

“It effectively gives the opponent a four-man front row. The referee let him get away with it a few times, but it was good officiating to punish him,” Waratahs skipper Phil Waugh told rugbyheaven.

Die Burger

  • Dale - 2009-04-06 23:05

    LOL, huge bummer for Vodacom's multi-million Rand campaign built around 'player 23' being the 'fan' ... ooops! Spare front row man will have to be player zero?

  • Henk - 2009-04-07 05:28

    It won't be the worst thing for uncontested scrums to fall away. I wish that referees would stop blowing the scrums if the ball is already at the eigth man's feet and it goes down, or when a prop or hooker's head pop's up. I mean, the referees think they are preventing an injury or whatever, but as a matter of fact, if you look at a referee (any referee) you can tell that they never had to scrum (ever!), It takes a lot out of you if a scrum resets the whole time.

  • Hein - 2009-04-07 06:28

    and all the injured players will be ready and fit to run on again in their next game. Sis you Stormers - I for one am very happy that this sh1t will come to an end. It is only Rassie and Naka (to a lesser degree) that abuse this.

  • merv - 2009-04-07 07:16

    Rassie must be getting really nervous, now that he wont be able to use his favourite tactic again to cover up the stormers scrum problems.

  • Grumpy - 2009-04-07 07:19

    To start off I am a Cheetah supporter (Shame on me) and I know the tactics enforced by the Stormer coach. This "Injuries" to the props is a known tactic to eliminate the opposition strength. It started off with replacing the replaced front row due to "Injuries". At last someone saw the light but I suppose Rassie will come up with another trick to hide his weakness!

  • HJ - 2009-04-07 07:26

    Well that will put an end to Rassie's old trick, he has a history of doing it, the moment his team battles in the front row, did it at the Cheetas as well.

  • Lourens - 2009-04-07 08:08

    Mark Keohane is a loser,always has been... Look how player 23 will come handy now!!! Go JAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous User - 2009-04-07 08:37

    HJ and Merv...obvious you dont know a thing about rugby...shame! maybe you also must go to Aus and stay there please! You're giving away your low IQ with statements like that!

  • Hoops - 2009-04-07 09:04

    Yes yes...Rassie does this on purpose.....but well done Rassie....if the perception is created that Wickus can't scrum(He is not a bad scrummer, ask the bulls front row) and he gets penalty after penalty you get fed up with the refs one sided eye and use a RULE and make it better for yourself. I would like to see all of you blokes complaining about Rassie tactic if your scrum get blown up when you are actually scrumming good......then the whole prentjie would change!!! Believe me!!

  • Robert - 2009-04-07 12:27

    I don't see this really changing much. All it will do is move the abuse from one side to the other. Fake an injury now... and you get an uncontested scrum. Fake an injury after this becomes law and you get a whole fresh front row...

  • Anonymous User - 2009-04-07 12:48

    What now happens to "ou Jan", Vodacom? Becomes player #0, the all time hero???? I don't know what this stuff-up with player 23 shows us- perhaps that Zuma was involved in the plot to prohibit Andre "Rooikaart" Watson from talking to 082111 or was it the NPA that left the door open for SA rugby to gatecrash the ad, perhaps the IRB will now pronounce them on allegations of racism where Cheeky Watson is involved, perhaps the communists WILL take over Loftus Versveld...

  • MACK - 2009-04-07 14:48

    I was a loosehead all my years.What Ive never seen is an ex prop ref , yet these idiots blow the frontrow as they see fit.If youve never gone done in front, dont claim to know what the props did.Its war in there , although after years of sissying the rules ,not as ruff and tuff as it used to be.Carry on like this and soon only guys ,"lite on thier feet "will be playing it. Rugby is for men , if your frontrow buckles week in and week out , a stiff fine and 2 log points deducted , will soon sort it out. EXCEPT IF YOUR'E A CHEETAH !

  • Cliff Bradley - 2009-04-08 08:58

    Merv & All your cronies , you guys suck , if it was a Shark Or Blou *ril You Would Shut Up

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