Vodacom Super 14

Os: Adapt to the laws and refs

2010-02-24 23:55
Os du Randt (Gallo Images)
Hendrik Cronjé

Bloemfontein – Adapt to the referees and their stricter interpretations of the scrumming laws or suffer the consequences.

That was the training ground message this week from Cheetahs scrum coach Os du Randt to his troops ahead of Saturday’s Super14 clash with the Highlanders.

The Free Staters literally scrummed themselves to the Currie Cup final in 2009, but have been frequently penalised this year.

Last Friday night’s match in Durban against the Sharks was also proof of the influence that a referee can have on the outcome of a match.

The difference in terms of applications by different referees before and after half-time were as noticeable as day and night.

In the first half it was the Cheetahs’ scrum that found itself at the wrong end of Jonathan Kaplan’s whistle.

When Pro Legoete took over from Kaplan (who did not emerge from his dressing room because of a stomach virus), the Sharks suddenly struggled.

Du Randt admits that referees have the power to determine the flow of a game. But he feels the sooner his scrummagers adapt, the better.

“At present we are learning the ropes,” he said.

“I said to the guys yesterday that we simply have to learn from the tough times. We have a good draw and would like to exploit it to our benefit.”

When Du Randt was asked whether he was glad that Legoete would be carrying the whistle for Saturday’s clash, he replied jokingly: “Yes, but will be blow like he did in Durban?”

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské said he was happy with the appointment of Legoete.

“If he can maintain the standard that he set in Durban, I am very satisfied.”

Du Randt admits to not being happy with the Cheetahs’ scrumming just yet.

But he has little doubt that the Cheetahs have the scrummagers to also dominate the set phase at Super14 level.

The Highlanders are known as a team that can stand their ground against any tight five and that is why a major responsibility rests on the shoulders of Wian du Preez, Coenie Oosthuizen, WP Nel (props) and Adriaan Strauss (hooker) to adapt to Legoete’s application of the laws from the outset.

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