Scots aim for scrum dominance

Wed, 05 Mar 2014 18:52
Large scotland scrum

The Scottish scrum will have to produce their best performance of the Six Nations if they are to upset France.

The Scottish scrum will have to produce their best performance of the Six Nations if they are to upset France in their match at Murrayfield on Saturday, former Scottish lock Nathan Hines said.

The Scotland pack have proved the Achilles heel of the team this season, providing little ball for their backs to do something with especially against England where they were humiliated 20-0 at Murrayfield.

However, Australia-born Hines, who was capped 77 times by his adopted country, said that based on the resolute performance in their last outing - a nailbiting 21-20 win over Italy in Rome - there was some hope for Scotland and not just because of France's woeful away form which has seen them fail to win in two years since winning in Edinburgh.

"The win over Italy confirmed the impression Scotland made in their first game against Ireland [a 28-6 defeat]," said Hines, who is in his final season with French giants Clermont before moving to English club Sale.

"They did well initially and held their own but then cracked in the face of the Irish pack.

"The Scottish team have a young three-quarter line, still gaining in experience and therefore liable to be exposed.

"The biggest problems, though, are in the scrum which does not make any yardage and loses one in two line-outs.

"Scotland needs the ball so it can express itself. It will be the scrum that decides the match against France.

"If we correct this area then we can pose the French all sorts of problems."

Hines, who has previously played in France for Perpignan before joining Irish province Leinster with whom he won the 2011 European Cup, said he felt the Scots were in about the same position as the French were ahead as they prepared for the 2015 World Cup still searching for the best formula and mix of players.

However, he said while the arrival of his present club coach Vern Cotter as head coach of the Scots, replacing Scott Johnson, at the end of the season would have a positive impact, the World Cup might come too soon in terms of seeing an upturn in results.

"When you are a player, this transitional period is always complicated," said Hines.

"Certain players will have their eye on the future when the priority is to focus on what happens now.

The arrival of Vern risks turning things upside down.

"He will bring with him a rigorous approach, and ask a lot more of the players. He will force them to pose questions about themselves and what they have been doing before.

"When something is working he will tell you it is, but he will also do so when it isn't but it is important to have a coach that talks to you frankly.

"The federation did not make a mistake in hiring him.

"Maybe the World Cup will come too early for the results to be seen but I think that by the 2016 Six Nations Scotland will be a force to be reckoned with."

AFP

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Ireland 5 5 0 0 26
Wales 5 3 0 2 15
Scotland 5 3 0 2 13
France 5 2 0 3 11
England 5 2 0 3 10
Italy 5 0 0 5 1