Wales ready for 'boring' mind games

Fri, 01 Mar 2013 13:46
Large ian evans wales 630 Large scott johnson scotland look Large ianevansfrance Large scott johnson h s2 Large ian evans Large scott johnson h s

Wales lock Ian Evans has said any verbal tricks played by former coach Scott Johnson will come as no surprise to him.

Wales lock Ian Evans has said any verbal tricks played by former coach Scott Johnson ahead of next week's Six Nations international at Murrayfield will come as no surprise to him.

Whatever else the Australian, in caretaker charge of Scotland, can resist it certainly isn't a colourful phrase, with the former Ospreys and Wales boss comparing the Scots' extraordinary come-from-behind victory over Ireland last week to boxing great Mohammed Ali's 'rope-a-dope' defeat of George Foreman in the 'Rumble in the Jungle' in Zaire back in 1974.

"He is quite a character, really," Evans said of Johnson. "He likes to put himself out in the press, trying to ramble some jargon and trying to play mind-games.

"His worst fear is probably that he's coached most of the boys within our squad, so we will more or less know how his mindset is.

"So he can ramble as much as he wants, it just becomes pretty boring in the end," Evans said.

"Rugby is a pretty basic game, isn't it? I don't think you need to add fuel to the fire," the down-to-earth second row insisted.

"There is no doubt that there will be (mind games next week). But, like I said, it's boring, for me anyway."

The Scots are level on points with second-placed Wales, and still in title contention, after two victories from three Tests with Johnson the first Scotland coach in 13 years to oversee back-to-back Six Nations wins.

"I am not surprised by it," Evans said. "He has been around international rugby with Wales and Australia, and he's obviously with Scotland now.

"So he is a very experienced coach, to be fair to him. He knows what he's doing and you've got to respect that."

Evans has never previously played for Wales at Murrayfield, where Scotland have lost three times from the last four fixtures between the countries -- but he expects a fierce contest with in-form Scottish second rows Jim Hamilton and Richie Gray.

"They are quality players," he added. "They play in the Aviva (English) Premiership, where set-piece is a main part of the game.

"Hamilton is massively under-rated. He is a great player. But I have got confidence in my ability, and when you play international rugby you want to play against the very best players.

"It's going to be an interesting day at the office.

"You saw them against Ireland with their line-out defence. They caused them a lot of worry and didn't give them much clean ball, so they pose a big threat, but it's up to us to counteract that."

AFP

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 06 May 2016
Crusaders v Reds 07h35 Christchurch
Brumbies v Bulls 09h40 Canberra
Griffons v Eagles 15h00 Welkom
EP Kings v Blue Bulls 16h00 Port Elizabeth
Sat, 07 May 2016
Sunwolves v Force 05h15 Tokyo
Chiefs v Highlanders 07h35 Hamilton
Waratahs v Cheetahs 09h40 Sydney
Leopards v Boland 12h30 Potchefstroom
Griquas v Border 13h00 Kimberley
Sharks v Hurricanes 13h00 Durban
Pumas v Namibia 13h00 Mpumalanga
Golden Lions v Free State Cheetahs 13h00 Randburg
Wasps v London Irish 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Worcester Warriors v Saracens 14h30 Sixways
Bath v Leicester Tigers 14h30 Recreation Ground
Gloucester v Northampton Saints 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Exeter Chiefs 14h30 Twickenham
Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks 14h30 Kingston Park
Zebre v Dragons 15h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Munster v Scarlets 15h00 Thomond Park
Ospreys v Ulster 15h00 Liberty Stadium
Connacht v Glasgow Warriors 15h00 Sportsground
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 15h00 BT Murrayfield
Leinster v Treviso 15h00 RDS
Kings v Blues 15h05 Port Elizabeth
Sharks v Western Province 15h30 Durban
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 5 5 0 132 10
Wales 5 3 1 1 7
Ireland 5 2 1 2 5
Scotland 5 2 0 3 4
France 5 2 0 3 4
Italy 5 0 0 5 0