Sunday 25 March 2018

We need consistency in scrum laws, says Scotland coach

Coach Scott Johnson
Coach Scott Johnson

Andy Newport

SCOTLAND head coach Scott Johnson says new scrummaging laws must be applied consistently around the globe in the wake of recent controversy.

The Dark Blues boss attended a scheduled meeting of tier-one International Rugby Board coaches in London yesterday.

Debate over scrummaging has followed England's 20-13 victory over Australia on Saturday.

Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie was critical of Irish ref George Clancy after his side were punished repeatedly for infringements at the set-piece.

Now Johnson has called for further meetings so a standard interpretation for scrummaging can be figured out.

The Scotland interim head coach, whose side face Japan at Murrayfield on Saturday, said: "The scrum was the major issue and we walked away from the meeting knowing who agrees with who and who doesn't. Philosophies get tested but that is the way it goes.

"These meeting are something that are needed. We need to be talking regularly if we are to start the process of making the game better.

"With things like interpreting the scrums, consistency is the key. There are new scrum laws and we are getting used to them. All we ask with that or even line-outs is that they are judged consistently.

"We just want the referees to call it the same way for both sides. I remember the Wales game here in the Six Nations earlier this year and I was unhappy with many of the calls. I didn't think it was being called the same for both sides that day.

"However, with the meetings like we had today, we get to air our grievances and I'd like to see them happen more regularly. It was a bit like a confessional - I get to say my piece and I walk away feeling cleansed."

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