Cape Town - Ireland legend Ronan O'Gara says England coach Eddie Jones may have missed a trick in not bending the rules in the Rugby World Cup final against South Africa.
England suffered a hammer blow when tighthead prop Kyle Sinckler left the field concussed in the third minute, with Dan Cole replacing him for the remainder of the match.
The Red Roses were under severe pressure at scrum time and conceded several penalties throughout the match.
The Springboks' scrum domination laid the platform for their 32-12 win.
O'Gara, the current head coach of French club La Rochelle, was quoted as saying on the Rugby Pass website that Jones should have tried to get Cole off the pitch - which would have resulted in uncontested scrums.
"Eddie Jones, if you're in his head, is plotting worst-case scenario probably, Dan Cole comes in and he's in for 77 minutes. You don't have extra legs for him or expertise at tighthead.
"What are you to do?
"The coach in me was saying, essentially, do you bend the rules and become cynical and make them uncontestable scrums. The game was decided by penalties up front."
O’Gara, who recently completed an assistant coach tenure at Super Rugby champions the Crusaders, added: "You have to find a way to win no matter what it takes. If you get in trouble, you've got a World Cup winners' medal."
Earlier in the tournament there was a case of uncontested scrums when the Springboks played Italy.
The Azzurri lost tighthead prop Simone Ferrari to injury, ironically also in the third minute, and when his replacement, Marco Riccioni, went off for a head injury assessment (HIA) in the 18th minute, it meant uncontested scrums for the remainder of the match.
Some pundits hinted afterwards that it may have been a deliberate ploy by Italy as they were also under severe pressure at scrum time.
The Boks still won with a comfortable 49-3 scoreline.
- Compiled by Herman Mostert