Sunday 20 January 2019

Gibbes is wary of improved Ospreys scrum

LEINSTER forwards coach Jono Gibbes believes the Ospreys have grown "an arm and a leg" in the scrum this season and have the potential to embarrass the province if they are not focused for Friday night’s Magners League meeting at the RDS.

In using that phrase, the former All Black is acknowledging the demolition job the Ospreys did on Munster at the Liberty Stadium before Christmas.

Props Paul James, Duncan Jones and Adam Jones were comprehensively on top in that encounter and their scrum nearly inspired a comeback win over Cardiff Blues last weekend.

“They (the Ospreys) have shown they have grown and developed and can withstand a bit of pressure,” said Gibbes. “They were also able to get back into the game through the scrum, which seems to have grown another arm and a leg. They seem to have gained confidence out of it.

“We have had a nice little bit of growth with our scrum this year but every game is a little bit different. They could come with different tactics. The ref could interpret things a little bit differently. We need to be adaptable but we need to be focused or we could get embarrassed at home.”

STEPHEN FERRIS and out-half Ian Humphreys will return to Magners League action this Friday when Ulster take on Treviso at Ravenhill as the province attempt to get back on track after two derby defeats last week.

Ireland flanker Ferris had been sidelined for three weeks with a buttock injury while Humphreys has been absent due to an ankle problem.

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