Lions: Scrum lessons learnt

Tue, 25 Dec 2012 07:00
Large graham rowntree hands on 2 Large gatland farrell rowntree ho Large graham rowntree gestures 63 Large howley gatland rowntree fa2 Large graham rowntree hands on he

The B&I Lions are determined to take advantage of the one major weakness in the Australian make-up, their scrums.

The British and Irish Lions are determined to take advantage of the one major weakness in the Australian make-up, their scrums, during the tour Down Under next year.

And it will be the lessons learnt from their last expedition, to South Africa in 2009, that will set them up for dominance in this set piece.

Lions forwards coach Graham Rowntree said they are determined to avoid what happened to them in South Africa three years ago.

The Lions lost the battle at scrum time against the Springboks in the first half of the opening Test in Durban despite having impressed in the set piece during the warm-up fixtures.

They responded in fine fashion after the break and again in the first 40 minutes of the second Test, before the Boks worked their way back into the game in Pretoria after injuries to Gethin Jenkins and Adam Jones forced uncontested scrums.

"There were massive question marks in the scrum in the first Test in South Africa, which we answered in the second," said Rowntree, who was a specialist scrum coach in 2009, but has now been named forwards coach for 2013.

"We didn't expect the jump to be that much between the provincial games and the first Test last time but the simple fact is that it turned out to be a significant jump.

"It wasn't a case of us being complacent going into the Test series. We played against some good front rows and some big men and we'd done well all tour but then they caught us out.

"The pleasing thing was that we worked it out and fixed it during game time with some changes.

"The second Test was about taking that edge to them and when we went to uncontested scrums it significantly improved their chances because we couldn't tire them out.

"Both Gethin Jenkins and Adam Jones were having a good time in the scrum in the first half of that second Test. When we went to uncontested scrums because of injuries, we lost that advantage."

The Lions pack weren't alone in learning on the job in South Africa, either.

Rowntree himself insists he came back from the Republic a better coach having worked with the likes of Warren Gatland, Sir Ian McGeechan, Rob Howley and Shaun Edwards on what was his third Lions tour but his first as a coach.

"I learnt a lot from some very experienced coaches, some coaching greats in the modern game, with Geech heading up a good crew of coaches," added Rowntree.

"I learnt a lot and that's stood me in good stead in the years that have followed.

"I'm still not the coach I need to be because you are always developing and learning. You never stop."

Source: lionsrugby.com

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sun, 19 November 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Harlequins 14h00 Sandy Park
London Irish v Bath 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Fri, 24 November 2017
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Ulster v Treviso 18h05 Kingspan Stadium
Leinster v Dragons 18h35 RDS Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Connacht 18h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 18h45 Welford Road
Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester 18h45 Kingston Park
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 19h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Sat, 25 November 2017
Bath v Harlequins 11h15 Recreation Ground
Italy v South Africa 13h00 Rome
Scotland v Australia 14h30 Cardiff
England v Samoa 15h00 Twickenham
Wales v New Zealand 17h15 Cardiff
Cheetahs v Edinburgh 17h30 Bloemfontein
Ireland v Argentina 17h30 Aviva Stadium
France v Japan 19h00 Paris
BRITISH & IRISH LIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
B&I Lions 0 0 0 0 0
Australia 0 0 0 0 0
Barbarians 0 0 0 0 0
Force 0 0 0 0 0
Reds 0 0 0 0 0
Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0
Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0
Rebels 0 0 0 0 0
NSW-Queensland 0 0 0 0 0
Blues 0 0 0 0 0
Highlanders 0 0 0 0 0
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0
NZ Barbarians 0 0 0 0 0
Maori All Blacks 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0