Wests Tigers hooker Robbie Farah says former Assistant Coach Royce Simmons would be sitting back smiling in England knowing referees were cracking down on scrums this weekend in Round 3 of the Telstra Premiership.
Farah said he practised some hooking of the ball at training on Wednesday in preparation of the match against Canberra Raiders at Campbelltown Stadium on Saturday night.
“We have spoken about the cracking down and we need to make sure we don’t give away a stupid penalty especially when we have got the ball,’’ Farah said.
“It is one of those penalties that you would be kicking yourself if you did give one away.
“We practised scrums a fair bit, but more so our set plays. It was a bit different, a throw back to the 80s.
“Royce would be proud. He used to try and get me to hook in the scrums. He told me I wasn’t a real hooker because I didn’t wear shin pads. He'd be in England reading the newspapers about it with a smile on his face.”
Head Coach Tim Sheens admitted his players had been undergoing plenty of scrimmaging work.
“We have been told with the scrimmaging that there will be one warning and then there will be penalties,’’ Sheens said.
“We have done some scrimmaging work this week. In fact, we have done more scrimmaging than we have done in the last five years to make sure that we don’t have any issues there.
“So far we have been pretty good. We haven’t had any problems with the scrums or in the play the ball area to speak of.
“We have been told what to expect, so we have been working hard to make sure it happens.”
Farah said the Raiders would be hurting after losing their first home match of the season last weekend. He said new half-back Matt Orford was a key man in leading the Raiders around with Terry Campese injured.
“They have a big pack and I’m sure they will be better for the run last week too. With Orford having his first game, he would have been a bit rusty. I dare say he will be a lot better this weekend,’’ Farah said.
“It will be a tough game. Even though we beat them in all three games last year, every game went down to the wire and by no means were they easy games.
“I don’t think they are too different with Orford running the show. (Five-eighth)Josh McCrone has been playing well and Blake Ferguson on the wing has been a great attacking weapon for them especially with their kicks.
"They have still got a massive forward pack and Brett White is back in this week from suspension."