If, in the spectacular emergence of Nicolas Le Roux, Worcester have found a penny, there was an incident in Saturday's pulsating victory over Saracens that suggested they might have lost a pound in the process.

Actually the balance is more like 20p to £1 but, nevertheless, the Frenchman's magical debut was tarnished by something cynical and I'm not referring to the outrageous assault on him by Kris Chesney, either.

A good 40 minutes after the charismatic full-back was shoved headlong into the visitors' bench - an episode that started with exploding water bottles and culminated in the punch-up of the season - Sixways was left to behold an altogether more sinister development.

Worcester had just decimated the Saracens' scrummage, their well- oiled pushing machine simply spewing out white-shirted opponents in all directions.

Sarries' prop Kevin Yates decided his shoulder couldn't take any more and the referee, Dave Pearson, ordered uncontested scrums because the visitors were out of cover in that position.

Worcester would now have to negotiate the 17-15 deficit bereft of a major part of their game plan and therefore punished by their opponents' inability to match them in the front row. There was only one loser in that situation and it wasn't fair.

Although he didn't say so at the time John Brain, their director of rugby, has subsequently expressed his concern that it might be in the interests of some of Worcester's future opponents to manufacture a situation where the expertise of tighthead Chris Horsman and loosehead Tony Windo has no impact on proceedings.

Everyone in the Premiership knows how brutal the Warriors' stampeding octet can be and how important an aspect of their game the scrum is - wouldn't it be convenient if a few of their front-row players got injured early in the game?

I'm not suggesting that's what Saracens did. In fairness to Yates, he had already come off the pitch in the first half and was back on as a replacement when he finally gave way for good.

But there have been occasions when teams have tried to pull a fast one and the fact that sanctions exist for this exact scenario suggests malpractice is not unknown.

So if, as I am prepared to do, we are to give Saracens the benefit of the doubt - that Yates and Ben Broster were unable to continue - unfortunately we cannot be so charitable about their response to the situation.

Yates was replaced with Taine Randell and, soon after, Simon Raiwalui came on for the immobile Chesney because Saracens knew they could now afford to sacrifice a bit of bulk and replace it with the speedier and more creative sorts that suited their game plan. A double blow to Worcester.

Thanks to their mastery of the driving maul, Worcester were still able to power straight through the visitors' lighter pack and ultimately win the game, but imagine the sour taste there would have been if Windo hadn't scored that last-minute try.

Brain's solution is to increase the replacements allowed from seven to eight and compel teams to name a tighthead, loosehead and hooker on the bench.

That would make it harder for clubs to engineer uncontested scrums but would not make it impossible, so perhaps the ramifications for doing so need to be even stiffer.

Teams would definitely think twice about declaring themselves out of front-row specialists if the player whose injury produced the situation - in this case Yates - was automatically made unavailable for the next game.

If that man is injured, he'd probably be doubtful for a match in seven days anyway and if he isn't, he's not going to want to miss it by ducking out when the going gets tough.

There is, of course, a concern that players might be forced to continue when unfit to do so, but that's a call coaches would have to make without having allegations of short-term expediency levelled at them.

And as Brain says, if we're going to make the scrummage less competitive, rugby union would end up even closer to Rugby League and who wants that?