AS EXPECTED, the ever-combative, ever-direct Wallabies openside breakaway David Pocock has taken some positives out of being part of a scrummaging decimation against England at Subiaco last weekend.While some Australian forwards were slinking around after conceding two penalty tries, Pocock believed it was the ”wake-up call” they needed, after several seasons in which they had gradually started to believe they were a formidable pack.Admittedly the front-row stocks are well down at the moment, with Ben Alexander, Benn Robinson and Stephen Moore all sidelined, but Pocock yesterday argued this was still the time for everyone – young and old – to step up.”Without a good scrum you’re going to struggle to win the tight games,” Pocock said yesterday. ”We can’t rely on other aspects of the game to prop up one area which is lagging. It’s maybe not a bad thing that we got this wake-up call early, as we can now put a lot of work into that area.”Pocock can also comprehend why everyone was again focusing on the Australian scrum and its frailties.”After the weekend we realised how short we came. It is obviously an area where we have to improve a lot to be competitive,” Pocock said.”We know it is an area that could really hurt us and it did on the weekend. For the team and for the backs, we have to really get it right. We’ve spent a lot of time analysing it, talking about it, and then the training session yesterday was important.”It is always hard to tell when you’re up against the scrum machine [in training] because it doesn’t give you much back. But I know the guys will step up this weekend because we know that’s where they will come at us.”And he realises there will be no forgiveness from a ”hurting” England on Saturday night.”They will be a lot smarter. They will probably play to their strengths more and play the typical English game of field position, and using their big forwards to get the roll-on,” he said. ”If you give their backs a bit of space they are pretty dangerous. So as a forward pack we are expecting another big battle and we are under no illusions at scrum-time and lineouts where they are going to come at us.”He also expects England to be more expansive this time and not adopt the ”rope-a-dope” tactics they used in Perth. They bashed away to the extent that the rest of their game fell away dramatically.”It is very different to how it is played in the Super 14 to the Guinness Premiership and Heineken Cup. It is a different brand of rugby and I guess mostly due to the conditions,” he said. ”It is that clash of the different styles of play, but I’m sure England will adapt to the better conditions and use the ball a lot more.”
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