England and Harlequins prop Joe Marler has caused a stir on social media by tweeting about required changes to the scrum laws following his side’s massive 53-28 defeat at the hands of Clermont.
Marler took aim at rival front-rowers who ‘push after the scrum collapses’ in order to convince the ref that they were the dominant force, labeling they behaviour ‘cowardly’ and that the act needs to be outlawed.
? *Nause alert* Pushing after the scrum collapses to try and convince the ref you’re dominating is cowardly and needs outlawing. *nause over*
— Joe Marler (@JoeMarler) November 16, 2019
Marler’s tweet gained immediate traction with over a thousand reactions.
It is unclear whether the tweet was a reaction to Clermont specifically, who won penalties on the first two scrums of the matchand a free kick on the third against the feed.
The scrum continually collapsed in the first half leading to time-consuming resets, but when it held up Clermont generally had their way as Harlequins’ front-row, missing key England stars Kyle Sinckler and Marler, buckled under the pressure.
Clermont’s scrum dominance was highlighted by a 39th-minute push that parted the Harlequins’ pack like the red sea and had Number 8 Tom Lawaday scrambling to pick the ball up as to avoid conceding a certain penalty. Head coach Paul Gustard was the first to admit that following the match, pinpointing the scrum as the ‘Achilles heel’.
“Our scrum was kind of our Achilles heel in the first half,” he explained.
“Second half we turned the scrum around and gained ascendancy, but unfortunately then our lineout suffered a little bit.
“We lost three lineouts in a row, which gave them a bit of momentum and Clermont hit a hot streak that really hurt us.”
Marler has been a passionate advocate of scrummaging in the game, and is often seen enjoying the work of his fellow front-rowers during games.
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