Robinson unhappy with ‘Tahs’ scrum training methods

Date published: March 29 2016

Veteran Waratahs prop Benn Robinson has blamed the Sydneysiders' training methods for their poor scrummaging in Sunday's narrow win over the Reds in Brisbane.

The Waratahs spent most of that match on the back-foot at the set-piece and, after conceding six scrum penalties, they conceded a penalty try as early as the 12 minute.

Robinson, who missed the early part of the season due to a broken nose, played 30 minutes as a replacement against the Reds believes the Waratahs forwards' training standards are not up to standard.

"Some of the standards we're accepting at training are not acceptable," he said. 

"That's across the board, so players coming in and packing against the starting side; it's not good enough at the moment for me which is a disappointing thing. It's hard for that starting scrum to perform well on the weekend when out on the [training] park. 

"At the moment it's not where it should be."

When asked whether he would like to be in the Waratahs' run-on side for this Sunday's's clash with the Rebels in Sydney, Robinson said: "Yeah, of course I'd like to get that number one spot. 

"We'll just see how we go this week."

Waratahs forwards coach Cam Blades said he would consider persuading head coach Daryl Gibson to pick Robinson in the run-on side against the Rebels as their scrum looked much more stable when he was on the field in the second half against the Reds.

"It's not something we're panicked about," explained Blades . 

"A guy with his quality, you're not going to leave out unless there's reason for it. He's getting that little bit fitter and fitter and comes further and further into starting contention so that's something well be looking at. 

"When guys like Benn come on the field they give the group a lot of confidence and again whether that's a placebo or one player coming on [I'm not sure]." 

After their poor display in the scrums against the Reds other teams will also see that facet of play as a weakness in the Waratahs' game and Robinson feels it will continue to haunt them unless they fix their problems soon.

"We know how teams are going to target us in the scrum; it's an area we know they're going to come for us," added the Wallaby front-row. 

"You can see, not just our scrums, but scrums that are dominated early during a game they [the opposition] have decisions go their way, so right from the get-go you need to set a good platform. 

"You don't want to get to the point where referees or teams are coming in with a pre-conceived idea. We need to cut that out straight away."