Scrum feeds need tidying - Owens

Nigel Owens 1566174738

Owens was responding to comments made by former England and British & Irish Lions midfielder Jeremy Guscott.


In his column, Owens said: "As referees we always need to be looking at how we can become better referees and when it comes to the force feed, I will put my hands up and say I am one of those referees who could do more.


"All of us referees at the top end of the game need to referee this area of the game better in my view and the put-in needs to be credible, if it's not perfectly down the middle," he said.


The issues needed to be addressed at all levels in order to find a solution.


"Some of the feeds at the moment aren't even credible.


"I take pride in my refereeing of the scrum and most of the games I refereed at the World Cup, 80-90 percent of the scrums resulted in the ball coming out so I like to think my refereeing of the scrum is accurate and that shows in the amount of scrums that stay up and ball away," he said.


Owens said he could always improve and would be working on that until the day he hangs up his whistle.


"Of course, we all as referees can always do better, but it's not the referee who collapses the scrum and it becomes the referee's problem if we don't deal with the issues that cause the collapse.


"I agree sometimes as referees we need to tighten up, that's what the laws are there for," he said.


However, if referees blew up every single technical issue there wouldn't be a game.


"The secret to a good referee and a good game is getting the balance right between upholding the laws and having a little bit of empathy for things you can manage and don't effect the game. Get what matters, get the clear and obvious offences and the marginal ones can be managed or played on from.


"You need to apply the law but you also need to apply a bit of empathy and game understanding.


"The easiest part of being a referee is knowing when to blow the whistle but the hardest part of being a referee is knowing when to not blow the whistle," he said.


Owens said one of the first lessons he received when taking up refereeing was for an old Welsh club identity who told him, "Keep you whistle down by your pocket and then by the time you have got it to your mouth to blow, you may feel there is no need to blow it at all."


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