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Wednesday 14 November 2018

Feek warns how Argies scrum is a real weapon

Scrum coach: Greg Feek. Photo: Sportsfile
Scrum coach: Greg Feek. Photo: Sportsfile

Mario Ledesma was a scary scrummager.

When the former hooker retired from a stellar playing career in 2011, he went through the rounds of Stade Francais and Montpellier in France, the Waratahs and Australia before returning home to coach the Jaguars.

For the most part, the impact has been positive, taking what he learned back to Argentina where one season was enough for the paymasters to back Ledesma as the successor to Daniel Hourcade on a three-year contract.

This prompted speculation of a renewed emphasis on the Pumas set-piece scrum, where they ruled the world for years, and lineout

The consensus was that Hourcade had a softer focus on those traditional areas as they looked to skill, speed and movement out wide.

Greg Feek would never fall into the trap of disrespecting any scrum, especially not that of Argentina.

"With the new rules, there's no hit and chase. Any team can get any team these days - if you're on. That's the difference," remarked Greg Feek.

The Ireland scrum coach went to great pains to reveal how an engagement is more than that one eight-man wrestling contest.

"It could be just straight out a moment where you've defended for four of five minutes, come in and done that and then get drilled.

"There's a lot of reasons behind sometimes what's going on."

The employment of Ledesma does not have a big influence over how Feek will approach the Pumas.

"For us, we always know their scrum is a weapon," he stated. "As long as (Agustin) Creevy's there and they've got (Ramiro) Herrera might be there and (Nahuel Tetaz) Chaparro, they've got a lot of caps, a lot of experience.

"We'll take is as the reputation they've always had."

It could just take more than Tadhg Furlong to anchor the Ireland scrum and Feek was encouraged by what he saw out of Andrew Porter in Chicago.

"He's unlucky and lucky to be playing with him (Furlong) - do you know what I mean? - because I think he's not getting the game-time," said Feek.

"But, I felt at the weekend, the longer the game went on the better he got and, when you see that, you get excited by that.

"You should see that game by game.

"But ,seeing it during a game, is a real positive."

Ireland will have to be rock solid there or it could be a long and low night.

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