(Rob Houwling on the Boks Scrum – Sport24)
Hi Rob, good article!
In my opinion, it is very rare to see Springbok teams and supporters worrying so much about how their scrums will perform? I’m a great believer of, where there is smoke there will be fire, unless you take good preventative action. Undoubtedly, there is a serious concern and I tend to believe the most fickle thing is the mind, switching it on and off is quite an ART.
Modern coaches need to know more about Human Resources and Behavioral Psychology than Strategy, Technique and Tactics.
Traditionally SA scrums are strong and dominant. Isac Van Heerden coached the Pumas’ scrum and team in 1964, a year before they toured S. Africa very successfully indeed. Fact is, the Boks’ scrum was badly rattled by the roaring Pumas. You have some competent personnel but… perhaps have not been cohesive enough at scrum time.
Modern rugby has too much extracurricular distraction coming from player agents, payments, endorsements, touring conditions which may or may not interfere with preparation, I don’t know this from, am just doing “remote diagnosis”.
Players may be concerned about their selection and perhaps have neglected the tenets of PREPARATION: togetherness, tightness, concentration and controlled aggression.
When players and coaches switch-on in time they may be able to reverse the “Salta Ambush”. Paradoxically, the Wallabies are in a very similar situation, so it looks like next Saturday in Perth we will watch “The Battle for Redemption”.