Bad refereeing of the scrum:
Owens wrote: “I know it’s a cliche but how scrum-halves are feeding into the scrum is worse than ever at the moment. In the past, it wasn’t really ever straight and I was probably as guilty of letting it slide as anybody else at the time, but now it is beyond a joke. Most scrum-halves may as well put it straight under the No.8’s feet.
“Too many scrums are not being refereed at the moment .Too many refs are playing on when the scrum is down and not dealing with the issues behind it, and the problem then just continues over and over again.
“They simply need to be stronger – if they can be stronger in refereeing it and in dealing with the negative scrummagers, then we will see much more of a contest at scrum time.”
Referee the RUCK better:
Owens said: “It’s all there in the laws of the game, but it just needs to be refereed better. You can’t deliberately collapse a ruck and players arriving at the ruck should be arriving on their feet and not diving off them. I’m not saying that everybody on the ground needs to be penalised, but certainly I think it’s an area of the game we need to improve on.
“If we get more players on their feet contesting the ruck then we have more space in midfield for the players to attack. This will also reduce the amount of dangerous clearouts around the dead ruck areas, when piles of bodies are on the ground.
“What we saw during the World Cup was several incidents of a player coming in to jackal the ball and an opposition player coming in to try and clear him out but then just pulling him off his feet into the ground. The player is then penalised for doing nothing wrong and we’re just left with a big pile of bodies and a total mess.”