The Springbok scrum oozed power for little reward. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)
- Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx has intimated that the national team were on the receiving end again of tough refereeing calls against the Wallabies, particularly at scrum time.
- It was indeed noticeable that South Africa weren’t rewarded for their dominance at the set-piece throughout the match.
- But Marx acknowledges that it can’t be the sole reason for the team’s defeat and pointed out they need to improve.
Malcolm Marx has intimated that the Springboks were once again on the wrong side of the whistle when it came to certain decisions, particularly at scrum time.
Nothing illustrated that frustration than in the final set-piece of Sunday’s 26-28 loss to the Wallabies on the Gold Coast, where – despite not having ascendancy at that scrum – the hosts could’ve easily been pinged for shoving inwards instead of South Africa being penalised for not releasing.
There was also a scrum shortly before that match-defining moment where the Boks had their opponents in reverse gear.
In fact, their overall dominance in that facet was never rewarded.
“It’s a bit hard to say [how I felt the scrums went] at the moment,” the dynamic Bok hooker, who scored a brace of tries from rolling mauls, said with a distinctly rueful chuckle.
“There were obviously scrums where we felt we were dominant and it was a different picture that was painted to the ref. Maybe that’s not what he saw.
“I’m always going to sit in this chair and say that we were dominant, being a Springbok. Maybe the pictures we saw were different things. So yeah, we’ll have a look and work on it and see where we can improve and work just as hard as always.”
Whatever the optics of that issue, the perennially humble Marx though did admit that having the majority of 50/50 calls go against one still can’t compensate for a defeat where the South Africans were probably their own worst enemies.
Some handling let them down, overall discipline waned and a surprising 21 tackles were missed.
“It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what type of lessons we’ll take out of the game currently because it’s a bitter pill to swallow,” said Marx.
“But there’s always something to improve on, even if you played well. We’ll look at things in detail and move on. No matter how well you perform, you always want to be better.
“There will be work-ons in terms of preparation for next week.”