Brumbies bank on driving maul

    2015-06-19 12:50

    Cape Town - The Brumbies will perhaps be hoping this week's directive on rolling mauls did not filter down too quickly from World Rugby headquarters as they prepare for Saturday's Super Rugby playoff against the Stormers.

    The catch-and-drive from the lineout has been the Canberra-based outfit's most potent attacking weapon over the last few weeks of the regular season with flank David Pocock twice scoring hat-tricks off the back of the maul.

    The widely-utilised tactic, very difficult to defend legally if properly executed, was shaping up to be a major factor at this year's World Cup until the directive was issued this week.

    Rugby's world governing body ordered referees to crack down on three areas of the game before the World Cup - high tackles, crooked feeds at the scrum and the rolling maul.

    The directive was accompanied by videos illustrating two areas where they wanted the maul laws more stringently applied - ensuring the player ripping the ball from the lineout jumper was bound to his team mates, and that all attacking players joined the maul behind the ball carrier.

    While the Brumbies have become highly adept at the rolling maul, past crackdowns on particular areas of the game have been followed by referees becoming whistle-happy around it.

    Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham at least has a good idea of how the referee for Saturday's match at Newlands, South African Jaco Peyper, interprets the rules.

    The Brumbies scored three tries from catch-and-drives when Peyper refereed their final regular season match against the Crusaders last weekend, one awarded as a penalty try.

    Peyper also awarded a penalty try to the Crusaders from a rolling maul.

    It might therefore have been the World Rugby directive that caused Larkham to express reservations about how effective the tactic might be against the Stormers on Saturday.

    "It's been very effective for us, we scored three tries at the weekend and three the week before," he told reporters in South Africa this week.

    "It's something we worked really hard on in pre-season, we didn't get a lot of return on it in the early rounds, we felt that was due to some refereeing decisions.

    "But we've stuck with it, we've got a few options off the back of the maul, but because it's been effective we haven't had to use those options.

    "We'll see how the Stormers go in stopping it, and they've got a maul themselves.

    "And we'll see how the referee wants to ref it before we decide whether that's going to be our tactic for the whole game."

    Kick-off for Saturday's clash at Newlands is scheduled to start at 17:05.



    15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Juan de Jongh (captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Schalk Burger, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff

    Substitutes: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20 Michael Rhodes, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Jaco Taute


    15 Jesse Mogg, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Robbie Coleman, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 Christian Lealiifano, 9 Nic White, 8 Ita Vaea, 7 David Pocock, 6 Scott Fardy, 5 Blake Enever, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Scott Sio

    Substitutes (from): 16 Josh Mann-Rea, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Ruan Smith, 19 Jordan Smiler, 20 Jarrad Butler, 21 Michael Dowsett, 22 Matt Toomua, 23 James Dargaville, 24 Les Makin, 25 Nigel Ah Wong

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