Wallabies working on scrum timing - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Wallabies working on scrum timing

David Beniuk 16/11/2010 02:07:12 PM Comments (0)

Rugby has a new buzzword - "cadence" - and it's driving front-rowers crazy.

The term refers to the referee's instructions to every scrum - "crouch, touch, pause, engage".

Suddenly, everyone is referring to a referee's cadence, a word which can mean the rhythmic flow of words or the end of a section of music.

It hasn't been music to the ears of front-rowers, though, as they try to adjust to the speed that each referee delivers the call.

The gap between "pause" and "engage" is the tricky bit as front rows wait for the green light to pack.

Go too early and you risk being penalised, too slow and the other pack can get an advantage.

It's being blamed for scrums collapsing and the number of penalties being blown.

"It's certainly an area that they need to be consistent with," Wallabies forwards coach Jim Williams said.

"It's just a matter of, coming from the top, a consistent message ... getting some uniformity.

"It sounds like a simple enough thing to call.

"The southern hemisphere did slow down the call a fair bit, it seemed to be working through Super rugby and the Tri-Nations."

Williams said, in the meantime, the Wallabies scrum needed to be able to adapt.

But he also conceded the Australians were spooked by the build-up to last weekend's Test against England, when all the talk was about the scrum and the home side reacted by playing running rugby.

"We got caught on that side of things," he said of the 35-18 loss at Twickenham.

"(We put) a lot of emphasis on the set piece and didn't ensure that our attacking side of things and our defensive side of things were up to scratch as well."

The Wallabies will face another strong scrum, Italy's, and another referee's cadence on Saturday (Sunday morning AEDT) in Florence.

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