Italian scrum lies waiting for Wallabies - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Italian scrum lies waiting for Wallabies

David Beniuk 18/11/2010 07:27:24 PM Comments (0)

Just when the Wallabies' scrum thought it was safe to go back into Test matches, they'll face a pack they rate amongst the best in the world in Florence on Saturday (0100 Sunday AEDT).

The Australians say Italy's scrum is up there with England's and their Argentina-born prop Martin Castrogiovanni, known simply as Castro, is one of the three best tighthead's in Europe.

The 188cm, 119kg scrummaging machine regularly keeps rising England enforcer Dan Cole on the bench at the pair's club Leicester.

The Wallaby pack's meltdown in Cardiff two weeks ago had plenty thinking they would face obliteration in last weekend's Test against England, but the battle never eventuated.

Australian prop Ben Alexander says, despite the dearth of scrums, the pack did take steps forward from the Millennium Stadium Test.

"Even though there wasn't too many scrums, we never really felt in trouble in any of them which was a step up compared to the week before," he said.

"Obviously we didn't turn any of theirs (ball) over and they didn't turn any of ours over but we were winning the engagements, which is what we practised.

"A lot of the issues we had the week before, it's probably a mentality sort of thing, scrummaging as an eight rather than just as a front row or just as a five.

"But it comes down to the front row winning the engagement and making the back five want to scrum."

The Brumbies front-rower made his run-on debut in the last Test Australia played in Italy, in Padua two years ago.

He reached another milestone in the 35-18 thumping by England, turning 26 at Twickenham.

Alexander will get a chance for some belated celebrations at Serie A club Fiorentina's home ground, the Stadio Artemio Franchi, up against Castrogiovanni and loosehead Salvatore Perugini.

"The English, Italians and the French, they're pick of the scrums in the world I'd say, along with New Zealand," he said.

"The Italians with Martin Castrogiovanni andSalvatore Perugini, two very experienced props ... It's a real badge of honour in their regard, even if they lose as long as they scrum well they'll be pretty happy."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news