Deans to work on scrum

Australia coach Robbie Deans will place an emphasis on scrummaging this week as his side look to avoid a repeat of their front-row horror show against Wales when they face England on Saturday.

Australia coach Robbie Deans will place an emphasis on scrummaging this week as his side look to avoid a repeat of their front-row horror show against Wales when they face England on Saturday.

The Wallabies ran out comfortable 25-16 victors in the Welsh capital thanks to their incisive attacking play that crafted tries for flanker David Pocock, man of the match Kurtley Beale and prop Ben Alexander.

But their win was in spite of a woeful scrum display at the Millennium Stadium as Wales were awarded a string of penalties as the Wallaby front row of Benn Robinson, Saia Faingaa and Alexander found themselves in reverse gear for much of the contest.

The scrum has been an Achilles heel for the Wallabies for a number of years, but they had voiced confidence that it was an area they had made huge improvements in.

Saturday’s debacle came on the heels of their pummelling at the hands of the England pack during their drawn two-Test series during the summer.

And with Twickenham the next port of call for Deans’ Test line-up, following their midweek trip to face Leicester tomorrow night, they are in urgent need of a rapid improvement.

“We were getting beaten on the hit on numerous occasions, that was our greatest problem. We will need to revisit it this week,” said the former Crusaders’ boss.

“But we have always found that when you place a real emphasis on something you get growth, and we will be trying to do that this week.”

Australia also have injury concerns in that front row area following hooker Stephen Moore’s late withdrawal through injury before the meeting with Wales.

Deans is hopeful that Moore will recover from a back injury in time for Saturday’s Twickenham appointment, but Tatafu Polota-Nau has been added to the squad as cover.

Full-back Beale, whose brilliant attacking skills were a constant thorn in the side of the Welsh defence, readily admitted that his side had struggled in the forward exchanges but felt there had been improvement as the game went on, and the 21-year-old believes there is more to come from his side after completing back-to-back wins for the first time in over a year.

“The Welsh dominated up front. We had to turn it around in the second half, and we did that,” said the Waratahs’ back.

“In the second half, we were focused on getting into their half and staying there. We recycled the ball a lot better – it was a big effort.

“The scrum has progressed, it is certainly better than it was (in 2007). We will fix the scrum up next week and go into the England game very confident.”

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