Jean: Allow advantage for dominant scrums
Cape Town - Springbok captain Jean de Villiers believes referees must allow teams who dominate at scrum-time the benefit of the advantage by allowing play to continue instead of awarding an immediate penalty.
The Stormers have without doubt been the best scrummaging side in the Super Rugby competition this year.
Unfortunately they haven’t always been able to use it to their full advantage.
De Villiers, who is in a race against time to recover from a serious knee injury for the World Cup tournament in September, says it’s great to see the Stormers dominating in the scrums.
However, they haven’t been able to convert that scrum dominance into points.
"Even though we are dominating at scrum time, our backline hasn’t always had the opportunity to play with the front foot ball provided by the forwards," De Villiers said in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.
"In most instances a penalty is awarded when a team transgresses at a scrum. And even though you are going forward, the backline doesn’t always get the ball. This does not allow you to play.
"In those instances, I would like to see referees allow the team to play the advantage.
"When your team gets a penalty from scrum dominance he must allow the advantage to be played.
"If nothing comes of it, he can always come back to the original penalty," explained De Villiers.
The 106-Test veteran believes the Cape franchise will have to improve in all aspects of their play if they hope to go all the way in the competition this year.
"We don’t want to concede any penalties and want to improve on our defence.
"However, we will have to create more opportunities on attack so that we can score more tries.
"Even though the lineouts were a bit better against the Brumbies last week, I think we still need to make a step-up in that department."
De Villiers believes Stormers centres Damian de Allende and Juan de Jongh are performing brilliantly.
"They can be particularly proud with the way they have performed as a combination and as individuals.
"They will just have to maintain their good form especially when it comes to the business end of the competition," he concluded.