Footage of Sharks destroying Leinster scrum will give Andy Farrell nightmares
By Rugby Onslaught

Footage of Sharks destroying Leinster scrum will give Andy Farrell nightmares

Leinster came out on top in almost every department on Saturday as they cruised past the Sharks 35-5 in the United Rugby Championship quarter-final. Every department except the scrum.

In a battle of front rows laden with Ireland and South Africa internationals, it was the Sharks who handsomely won that battle. In fact, they were so dominant in that department that it would have been a wise tactic by the Sharks to keep knocking the ball on, knowing their best chance of gaining a penalty and field position was through a scrum.

The starting front tree of Ox Nche, Bongi Mbonambi and Thomas du Toit, all of which are Springboks, had the most success, particularly Nche and Mbonambi as du Toit went off in the first half. Some of their scrummaging was devastating, and had the Leinster pack in tatters.

While Leinster survived, this match had ramifications, and ramifications far greater than the club game. Four of the six front row forwards from Leinster are likely to be the in the matchday squads for Ireland come the World Cup, where Ireland face none other than South Africa in the pool stage (and possibly even the final).

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell would not have had a great time watching the Sharks tear through the Leinster pack, as he knows the Boks are going to come with the exact same approach when the two sides meet in Paris in September.

Yes, Cian Healy is probably not going to be playing at tighthead on that occasion, particularly not after being unceremoniously lifted about two feet off the ground in one scrum, but there was enough in that match to give Farrell sleepless nights.

Ireland will just have to hope that they do not knock the ball on when they face the Boks at the World Cup.

Take a look at a Twitter thread of the Sharks’ most dominant scrums: