TOPIC: How do you prevent the wheel? 
DISCUSSION: In general the scrum will always wheel clockwise and the team provoking this action will be the non-striking side. Contrary to general opinion the key player preventing the wheel is not the tight-head second row, who should, in any event, be in a locked-off position, but the loose-head second-row! 
 
Let us explain, the second rows are only coached to push or lock the scrum; this, in our opinion, does not go deep enough. On your “put in”, their role is to maintain a stable platform for your front row so that your hooker can achieve a clean strike. If the opposition’s pressure is increased then your resistance must increase to retain the status quo. If there is no pressure at all coming through from the opposing tight-head, It usually means their intention is to provoke the wheel on the introduction of the ball. The opposing tight-head will try to pull, rather than push your loose-head, thus taking advantage of your own unnecessary efforts on the left-hand side of the scrum. This will accelerate the rotation in their favour, often making the ball unplayable. 
 
TOP TIP: The key factor is the awareness of the opponents pressure. The loose-head second row should be sensitive to any reduction in the opposition’s pressure and reduce his level of resistance accordingly; on some occasions even holding his own loose-head prop back to prevent rotation. The resistance/pressure can always be reapplied as and when required. 
 
Tagged as: Rugby Coaching
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