Scrum penalties: Stormers coach suggests law rethink


Cape Town - The Stormers have caught the eye with some impressive scrummaging in this year's Super Rugby competition.

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With a forward pack laden with Springboks, John Dobson's charges have used the scrum set-piece to great effect.

The Super Rugby log-leaders have won several scrum penalties and even dominated the once much-vaunted Jaguares in that department during last weekend's 17-7 win at Newlands.

The hosts had the Jaguares scrum going backwards at a rate of knots for most of the afternoon and they intend to do more of the same against the Blues at Newlands this weekend.  

"Scrums are always going to be a part of this team and where we want to be the best in," Dobson told reporters at the Stormers' High Performance Centre in Bellville earlier this week.

However, the Stormers mentor did make an interesting observation about the manner in which scrums are officiated in the modern game.

Dobson said he was not sure if earning scrum penalties for simply pushing opponents backwards was the way forward for the game.

"It's great that teams are getting penalties when they want on their own ball. But I don't think it's ideal for the game that you can push a button and get a penalty. But unfortunately those are the rules we're playing in at the moment," Dobson stressed.

Dobson added: "I think this scrum thing is getting a little bit frustrating for the game... if you run into me and dominate me in a tackle, you don't get a penalty for me being dominated. You haven't done anything wrong.

"Often at scrums, the referee would see it go too far and (award a penalty). To me, it has to be a blatant collapse. A hooker pulls his head out because he can't breathe - I don't think that necessarily has to be a penalty... I don't know why dominance is a penalty, it doesn't happen anywhere else in the game. So, I think that's something that the game needs looking at generally. But we'll keep using it while we can."

READ | Willemse 'trying too hard' but Stormers coach not perturbed

Ahead of Saturday's match against the Blues, Dobson said he was wary of the men from Auckland's scrum prowess.

"They've got quite few All Blacks up front."

Dobson will name his team later on Thursday, with Saturday's clash at Newlands scheduled for 15:05.

ALSO READ | Dobson wary of 'unpredictable', 'physical' Blues

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