Rugby Club's Dewi Morris says straight put-ins will help solve issues at the scrum

Last Updated: 04/01/13 11:26am

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The scrum debate

Sky Sports experts Stuart Barnes and Dewi Morris have called for referees to enforce straight put-ins and prevent teams from pushing prior to the feed in order to eradicate the problems which are blighting the scrum.

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill was the latest coach to air his grievances about the refereeing of the scrum following the Tigers' 17-12 victory over Gloucester last Saturday.

Despite his side winning the game, Cockerill slammed the refereeing of the scrum and claimed the current confusion at the setpiece is "ruining the game".

Morris agreed with Cockerill and told the Rugby Club the only way to ensure a fair and competitive contest is to restrain the power of the initial hit and crackdown on crooked feeds.

"How can coaches complain about referees not understanding the scrum if the fundamental aspect of the scrum - putting it in straight so there is a competition between the hookers - is not done?"
Stuart Barnes

"Do we go back to the hitting the scrum, getting the ball to be put in straight and then the props and everyone can push? Because that would alleviate all this smashing in," said the former England scrum-half.

"It is all about the hit, and that is what leads to the arms going down and the penalty; it is that incredible power coming on. We always go back to this thing; I don't think it is the right when these big forces are just smashing into each other.

"I think we should just hit in the middle, hold, the scrum-half then puts the ball in and then the props can have a go at each other."

Fundamental

Morris added: "The total dominance of a pack that can scrummage well would be enhanced if that ball went in straight and then these props could then manoeuvre.

"The power could come on and the thing would drive forwards. You would not see ball after ball going down."

Barnes agreed with his fellow Rugby Club pundit and blamed referees and coaches alike for failing to enforce and adhere to the rules on straight put-ins.

"How can coaches complain about referees not understanding, not giving the right refereeing decisions and not making the right penalty calls in the scrum if the first and most fundamental aspect of the scrum - putting it in straight so there is a competition between the hookers - is not done?" Barnes asked.

"If that is not happening it is like having a bad back, if it goes in the neck everything else goes. We have idiotic rule-makers who don't understand that if the rules are there they are there for a reason. It has to go straight (the put in) otherwise we will never fix the scrum."

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