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Gibbs expects a fierce Ospreys scrum

Guinness PRO12 Editor

6 Jan 2011

Leinster forwards coach Jono Gibbs is expecting a fierce front-row battle when his charges go head-to-head with Ospreys on Friday.


The Welsh region have received widespread plaudits for their powerful front-row performances with props Paul James, Adam Jones and Duncan Jones all contributing to the Ospreys steam-roller pack.

Ospreys demolished Munster’s scrum at the Liberty Stadium last month and almost inspired a sensational comeback against Cardiff Blues on New Year’s Eve.

And Gibbs, who has spent hours trawling through videos of the Ospreys in the hope of finding a chink in their armour, fears more of the same.

"They 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 Blues game through the scrum, which seems to have grown another arm and a leg. They seem to have gained real confidence out of it. I've certainly taken a clear interest in that.

"I think they got a penalty try when we played them over in Swansea, so we know the scrum is going to be important.

"If they get the quality platform with the scrum, with the angle they want, or a line-out, they can do some serious damage. As forwards we have a responsibility to look after our backs by giving them as much time and space to read what they are trying to defend."

Leinster have seen their own scrum come on in leaps and bounds this season and Gibbs hopes his side can gain parity.

"I would hope a few lessons have been learned," added Gibbs.

"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 make no bones about it, we need to be bloody focused or we could get embarrassed at home."

It will be the first time the Ospreys have returned to the RDS since their Grand Final triumph in May and Gibbs admits that loss still hurts.

"My frustration was that the year's work we had put in, we didn't perform the way you need to in order to win a Grand Final. It was massively disappointing."