Ben Alexander wary of Italian scrum
Having led the Wallabies’ dominant scrummaging performance against England, Ben Alexander says the pack is set for another big challenge against Italy this weekend.
Alexander returned from a wrist injury in the 20-14 win over England at Twickenham last weekend, where he helped restore pride in the Wallabies’ pack one week after they were dismantled by France.
The Brumbies tighthead crushed England’s Joe Marler at Twickenham with the loose head copping a warning from the referee for poor binds before he was replaced early in the second half.
While he was satisfied with his return match and the performance of the scrum, Alexander is now back to work and bracing for the Italian Test in Florence on Saturday (Sunday AEDT).
“We increased our focus and put a much bigger emphasis on it (for England) and it’s going to be the same again against Italy,” Alexander said.
“You watch a lot their games, even more so than the English, they’ll just hold it in and try and drive and force those penalties.
“Every opportunity they get they really look to their scrum to give them access into the game and to get them on the front foot.”
The last time Australia played in Florence was in 2010 and the Italians gave them a scare before the Wallabies pulled away late to win 32-14.
“They look to the scrum as a big confidence booster,” he said.
“When the scrum goes well they all seem to grow a few feet and the confidence flows in other parts of their game.
“We’re focused on taking that away from their game.”© AAP 2014