Romania bossed France in a number of scrums in their opening World Cup game, but Argentina and Georgia run them close when it comes to strength
We’ll find out who the best team in the world are on October 31st, but the best scrum in the game might be known before then.
New Zealand‘s Dane Coles said this week that he thinks Argentina have the best set-piece in the competition, but they will face a stiff test on Friday against Georgia.
The Lelos built their upset win over Tonga on a dominant scrum, as well as the ferocious tackling of Mamuka Gorgodze and Viktor Kolelishvili.
When it comes to props, arguably no team in the world has more depth at tighthead, where Davit Zirakashvili, Davit Kubriashvili and Levan Chilachava are all quality operators at scrum-time.
Argentina can usually match them in that department, but with Juan Figallo and Matias Diaz injured, their reserve props aren’t as strong. That’s even more true on the loosehead side where Marcos Ayerza is outstanding, but with very little behind him.
The other huge scrum battle took place when Romania took on France at the Olympic Stadium, with the Oaks trying to get one over on their Latin rivals.
We did not find out exactly how strong the French scrum is, with third choice tighthead Uini Atonio starting, and a back-row starting in the second row in Bernard Le Roux.
Still, Romania, while not as renowned as their fellow Nations Cup side Georgia, provided a stern test, especially with the first scrum of the game, where they won a penalty with a dominant push.
In Mihaita Lazar and Paulica Ion they have two hugely experienced props, both currently plying their trade in the Top 14.
In fact that would appear to be the common theme when it comes to the dominant scrums in the competition.
It’s no surprise that the French league, which places such an emphasis on the scrum, has produced the vast majority of props in the best scrummaging teams.
The problem France have found, and the accusation can also be levelled against Georgia and Romania, is that you need more than a scrum to win a rugby game.