OK, so I've just got home after my own match (I play Gaelic Football; we lost, if you'd like to know!), having watched the Lions in the pub beforehand. As the title suggests, I'm interested in the front row battle. I've never played there before, so forgive me if I'm mistaken, but here are my assertions anyway.
In the lead up to the game, and indeed over the last few years, refereeing of the scrum, and the front row in particular has come under enormous criticism. It seems as though referees have no idea who commits what offence, and when anything goes wrong, either they ping the pack they deem to be on the back foot, or reset it if the honours are even.
Today, the first scrum I saw (I was 7 mins late), the South Africans got an 8 man shove on and drove the Lions back a good few metres. From here on in, it seemed every offence made at the scrum led to Phil Vickery being pinged.
From what I saw, every scrum that collapsed was as a result of the Boks' loosehead, Beast, driving Vickery down and in, which I believe is known as boring, and is forbidden. Vickery kept getting pinged for it, and Beast, realising he had the ref fooled, kept doing it. As far as I could see, the scrum was wheeling that way constantly just before it collapsed, which seems to further underline my assertion.
Am I wrong here, or am I missing something?