Cheetahs coach Franco Smith has reacted this week to the controversial uncontested scrum that was called the last time they clashed with the Lions.
With the two teams clashing on Saturday in Bloemfontein in the Currie Cup semifinal, the issue was raised again, and Smith said the ruling of allowing teams 23 players instead of 22 will solve that problem.
At the time it was felt mostly by the Lions supporters that it cost their team the game after the Lions had the obvious upper hand in this department before the uncontested scrums were ruled.
Smith said the battle between the Cheetahs’ Ox Nche and the Lions Springbok tighthead Julian Redelinghuys would be one for the connoisseur.
“Ox battle with Julian will be an interesting contest to see, and it’s something everyone would like to see,” said Smith.
“But as we all know the scrum consist of eight guys, but it will be about who manage the pressure from both sides the best,” he said.
Smith said while they benefited from the uncontested scrums in the last match, it was just injuries to their props that forced the ruling.
“We were very unfortunate in the previous game even though it worked in our favour,” said Smith.
“At the time we played two games in the space of five days with the same front row.
“Tom Botha torn his bicep in the third scrum, so we had only two props who played 80 minutes in Durban the previous weekend.
“And when Ox got cramped it was inevitable that we couldn’t bring anybody else on.”
Smith said the ruling that 23 be allowed for the playoffs to allow for two props on the bench is widely welcomed.
“The whole season we wanted to scrum to and do really well there.
“And bringing in the 23rd player should have been like that the whole Currie Cup, and that’s without criticising, it’s like that worldwide.
“Everyone want to scrum to be a contest, and it could be a good battle.”