Munster coach Rob Penney says game should profit from new scrum engagement calls
Kiwi has taken over the role of scrum coach from Paul McCarthy this year
Munster head coach Rob Penney says what’s good for spectators (new scrum engagement calls) is good for the game. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho
“Crouch, touch, pause, engage” was replaced with “Crouch, touch, set” last season to little success.
However, Penney, who has taken over the role of scrum coach from Paul McCarthy this year, thinks the early signs are good for the new “crouch, bind, set” call, which sees the props take their bind before the hit.
Munster fans will get their first glimpse of the new calls in action when their side takes on English Premiership side Gloucester at Thomond Park on Saturday and Penney reckons that once the early creases have been ironed out, the game should profit.
“Initially I was really excited and that really hasn’t changed.
“I think there’ll be some great benefits for the game out of it,” said Penney, who leads Munster into a second season this weekend.
“I think that’s great for the spectators, which has got to be great for the game. But there is some teething problems around the appropriateness of the straight feed, how it looks pedantic if a referee is pulling him up when the ball is already at the number eight’s feet.”
Penney has already began to shuffle his pack ahead of year two in charge of Munster. Former ‘A’ team coach Ian Costello has been handed extra duties with the senior set-up to add to his Skills Coach role, but the decision of Head of Fitness, Bryce Cavanagh, to return to his native Australia at the end of October to link up with Tony McGahan’s Melbourne Rebels is a significant blow.
“I’m the scrum coach, so we have got a designated scrum coach,” said Penney. “It’s a learning process for everybody so it’s quite unusual. We are getting a lot of information from other capable people outside of myself and the group.”