Magners League
Ospreys seething over scrum justice
ESPNscrum Staff
January 1, 2011
Tempers flare between Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys, Cardiff Blues v Ospreys, Magners League, Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, December 31, 2010
Tempers flared at the Cardiff City stadium on Friday © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: David Humphreys | Paul James | Dai Young
Tournaments/Tours: Magners League

Ospreys forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys launched a blistering attack on referee Nigel Owens following their Welsh derby defeat to Cardiff Blues on Friday.

The Blues beat their rivals 27-25 in a game full of scrummaging controversies at the Cardiff City Stadium. Owens sin binned Ospreys prop Paul James and Blues counterpart Tafa'ao Filise and Humphreys accused the Welsh referee of undermining the dominant Ospreys scrum.

"I cannot understand why both players were ordered off and I will be having a conversation with Nigel Owens about it," Humphreys told the Western Mail. "Somebody must have been at fault. We felt we would not be able to dominate in the scrum, we felt it would be an issue.

"We didn't think coming away here to the Cardiff City Stadium would be a factor or that the Blues would be a factor. The fact is that every referee comes into the changing room and says to the tight-heads that they must scrummage square. Then we go onto the field and another thing happens.

"I just find it flabbergasting. There are some referees who need to be educated and some who don't. But, unless referees are prepared to go outside their comfort zones, we are always going to have this issue.

"Nigel said on the ref microphone, 'If we carry on like this, there won't be scrums next year.' That is a big, big statement to make. Unless people go outside their comfort zone and go to forward and scrum coaches and try and get educated, then they will always have this issue and get things wrong."

Blues coach Dai Young, the former Wales prop, admitted he was surprised by the double sin-binning but denied the battle in the scrum had a significant impact in the result.

"I can understand when you have 22,000 people watching a game that the last thing they want to see is reset scrum after reset scrum," said Young. "I don't see how two yellow cards clear that up, but I don't think it was really a factor.

"They have a strong scrum, but there weren't that many scrums in the game and I don't think it made a lot of difference really."

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