Ben Alexander wary of Italian scrum


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    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 2018

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    The Crowd Says (11)

    • November 20th 2012 @ 10:07am
      The Battered Slav said | November 20th 2012 @ 10:07am | ! Report

      He’ll have his hands far more full this weekend than he did last weekend against that penalty machine Marler.

      He’ll have to be careful, as the Italian scrum bores more than a muslim porn…..

    • November 20th 2012 @ 2:05pm
      DON MACKENZIE said | November 20th 2012 @ 2:05pm | ! Report

      The All Blacks starting front row against Italy test destroyed a so called “legend” as Woodcock demolished Castrogiovanni. As an old Tighthead prop, of 20 years experience, to me it was obvious.The Italian Tighthead, and at times the Hooker, were being forced up by the pressure Woodcock was applying to Castrogiovanni. Woodcock poped and bent him at least 6-7 times.Woodcock appeared to have more strength and greater technique.
      It has taken Woodcock a while to come back from injury. Once again he is the best Loosehead in world rugby. Look out Wales!!

      Tighthead Don

      • November 21st 2012 @ 10:21am
        Louis said | November 21st 2012 @ 10:21am | ! Report

        The French front row is clearly the best in the world.

        • November 21st 2012 @ 1:30pm
          Martin D. said | November 21st 2012 @ 1:30pm | ! Report


      • November 21st 2012 @ 2:27pm
        Martin D. said | November 21st 2012 @ 2:27pm | ! Report

        Yep. I viewed the game and Woodcock was definitely forcing Castrogiovanni to stand up. But you know how the press in the Northern Hemisphere create “legends” in their own minds.

    • November 20th 2012 @ 4:00pm
      The Battered Slav said | November 20th 2012 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

      Castro v Woodcock: The battle of the myths.

      • November 20th 2012 @ 6:23pm
        Martin D. said | November 20th 2012 @ 6:23pm | ! Report

        Is there a replay of that game available? I’d like to see for myself.

    • November 20th 2012 @ 7:21pm
      Mark Robinson said | November 20th 2012 @ 7:21pm | ! Report

      Dominant scrummaging performance??? Are you kidding! hahahahahaha They duck and weave and take down as many as possible when ball secured. Nothing has changed in 20 years

      • November 20th 2012 @ 9:27pm
        Martin D. said | November 20th 2012 @ 9:27pm | ! Report

        That was probably true of the last 20 minutes, mainly because England brought on its 130 kilogram New Zealand born prop to bolster its flagging pack. However, the first 60 minutes really was a dominant scrum performance. But I agree, that such dominance has been rare, albeit in the past 10 to 12, but not 20 years.

        • Roar Rookie

          November 20th 2012 @ 9:48pm
          Neuen said | November 20th 2012 @ 9:48pm | ! Report

          Weight and size is not important. Technique is. Italian props are gifts from Argentina.

          • November 21st 2012 @ 1:28pm
            Martin D. said | November 21st 2012 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

            OK. Then a 130 kilogram New Zealand born prop with an excellent technique.

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