New Zealand Rugby
Henry scrutinises Aussie scrum
August 7, 2011
Graham Henry insists he is happy with Wyatt Crockett's scrummaging in the Tri-Nations so far © Getty Images
All Blacks coach Graham Henry is calling for referees to keep a closer eye on binding following his team's concession of penalties at scrum time against Australia on Saturday.
Loose-head prop Wyatt Crockett was penalised three times at the scrum in one of the few downsides for the All Blacks in the 30-14 victory over the Wallabies at Eden Park. Henry said Crockett was penalised each time for going to ground, but he said that had more to do with the way Australian tighthead prop Ben Alexander was binding.
"If he binds on the body he's going to be fine. He was binding on the elbow and twisting it under, and that made it difficult," he said. "I think most of the time when Wyatt had problems was when his opposition was binding on the elbow and using that as a lever to pull him under."
Henry said he didn't think it was too difficult for referees to assess. "It's a technical problem the referee's got to fix. We know the problem, but we can't control what happens out there." There were relatively few penalties at the breakdown, though Henry said referee Craig Joubert seemed to be strict with his interpretation of the "gate" from which players could enter the ruck.
"You can't just come through the hinge of the gate, you've got to actually come through the gate, and in the heat of the battle sometimes that's hard, particularly if it's a disjointed gate," Henry said.
"The gate's getting smaller, so you've just got to come through the gate, you can't come through on the edge, and although he was very strict on that, there were times when he did let it go as well. Having consistency of refereeing in that area is going to be important."
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