Argentina

Pumas line up Wallabies scrum

Wed, 11 Sep 2013 13:22
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A pushover scrum is five points, same as 20 phases of fancy game
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Argentina will be out to put Australia under some serious pressure at scrum-time when the two sides meet in their Rugby Championship clash in Perth on Saturday.

The Pumas find themselves ahead of their counterparts on the log thanks to the single bonus point they secured in a home game against South Africa, whilst the Wallabies have suffered three defeats under new coach Ewen McKenzie.

However, Argentina are yet to record their first victory in the competition and have only won one match in Australia back in 1983, whilst their last victory over the Wallabies was in 1987.

The Pumas fell short against the All Blacks who outscored them by three tries to one in Hamilton last week, but one area which they domineted was the scrums.

By contrast the Wallabies were bullied at scrum-time by the Springboks, so the hosts would appear to have quite a challenge on their hands in the set-piece.

Powerful loosehead prop Marcos Ayerza said that the scrum is an undervalued area of the game which can have a decisive influence on which team enjoys the upper hand.

He told AAP: "I feel the modern game hasn't given the scrum the importance it needs.

"You've seen over the last five or 10 years how many teams have put the ball in and out (of the scrum) and just played it as a platform and not as a psychological dominance.

"I think the scrum is such a unique formation and a unique part of the game. It's amazing how it influences the psychological domination," said Ayerza.

The front row forward said that he has always preferred taking the direct route to the tryline.

"A pushover scrum is five points, same as 20 phases of fancy game. I prefer having the adrenaline and satisfaction of a pushover scrum. A good scrum dominance is second to none," the 42-Test veteran said.

Ayerza said that while the scrum will be a focus for his side, he expects a test from Australia who will be keen to bounce back from their unconvincing performances in recent weeks.

"We pride ourselves in that area. I think one of our big strengths that gives us confidence is playing the physical game - the tight forward game.

"Both teams will be focused on that area. It will be a great contest and I feel nervous about it," he said.

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