Cheika calls on refs to enforce scrum laws

Ian McCullough
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika wants stronger against back-rowers who illegally disrupt the scrum

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has called on referees in charge of Saturday's clash with England to ensure they crack down on back-rowers illegally trying to disrupt the scrum.

Cheika's side flew into the UK on Sunday from Italy to begin preparations for their season finale at Twickenham buoyed by a hard-fought 26-7 win over a committed Italian side in Padova.

However, there were again some concerns about the Wallabies' pack with Scott Sio, for the second-successive week, being penalised several times for losing the bind.

Twickenham has been a dark place for Australian props in the past, none more so than in 2005 when England behemoth Andrew Sheridan pulverised the Wallabies' front row.

But Cheika maintains he has full confidence in his props and is delighted with the performance of Taniela Tupou in the tighthead role.

The 'Tongan Thor' demonstrated his immense power to barrel his way over for his second international try. Cheika believes there's much more to come from the quietly spoken Queensland Red.

"I thought he had a really fine game," Cheika said.

"He ran hard. He really played with purpose in defence."

But Cheika insisted referees were not doing enough to stop opposition back-rowers lowering themselves on their knees after the bind call which he said was the major reason for Sio's difficulties.

The issue was discussed last week at a meeting of international coaches and IRB referees bosses in London, with All Blacks mentor Steve Hansen leading the argument for more to be done to prevent the scrum being lowered.

But Cheika said in the Italy game and the 9-6 defeat to Wales last week in Cardiff, nothing was being done to stop it.

"In the scrum, they are asking for stability - that is what they (referees) are saying," Cheika said.

"Our props are binding but their guys are getting up, the two locks and the back five.

"That transference of weight ... pushes Scotty up, because he doesn't want to go backwards.

"If it stops him from going forwards, it would be a penalty against us but, if he goes up, he struggles with the bind.

"They want stability but they are letting the locks come up and that is creating instability in the scrum.

"We then expect the guy who is being pushed up to keep his bind. In this instance, Scotty is paying for it and I am not 100 per cent sure why."