Pack dominating all others in scrum

Cory Brown
Cory Brown
If it was just down to the scrum then Otago would be well out in front in the Mitre 10 Cup.

The Otago eight has been in totally dominant form when it comes scrummaging.

In all the scrums the side has had the feed in its first eight games of the Mitre 10 Cup, it has not lost one.

It is sitting on 100% completion, the only team in the entire competition which has such a high statistic in scrummaging.

Every time the Otago halfback puts the ball into the scrum it has come out on the Otago side.

Although the exact number of scrums Otago has fed in the eight games so far is not known, to have won every one it has fed is a real bonus for the side.

The scrum is still a vital part of the game and much can be launched off a steady platform.

Otago has also upset the opposition scrum on many occasions, leading to penalties and turnovers.

Otago coach Cory Brown said the side had a very experienced front row now.

Loosehead props Craig Millar and Aki Seiuli were both members of the Highlanders and had been around for a good few years.

Tighthead props Hisa Sasagi and Donald Brighouse had also grown in the past couple of seasons and both were worthy of playing Super Rugby.

Sasagi had been a member of the Hurricanes in 2016 but injury had robbed him of the chance of getting on the field.

Hookers Sam Anderson-Heather and Sekonaia Pole have also done well and worked hard to make a competent front row.

Otago has been batting well in the other set piece, the lineout.

Its tall timber of Josh Furno, Josh Dickson and Adam Knight at the back have won 86.7% of the team's own lineouts, the sixth-best of any side in the competition. Bay of Plenty leads that statistic, sitting on 90%.

In the tackling statistics, Otago has three players in the top 10.

Flanker James Lentjes has made 91 tackles, which is second in the entire competition. Lentjes would have been first but he missed the last game against Wellington and is out of the rest of the competition as he is due to have shoulder surgery this week.

Furno has made 85 tackles while Knight has tallied 83 tackles.

Italian international Furno has been something of a revelation in the Otago colours, getting around the field and getting involved.

Brown said Furno has started to enjoy the game again after getting a tad stale while playing in Europe.


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