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Feek Primes Scrum For Dose Of Georgian Grunt

Feek Primes Scrum For Dose Of Georgian Grunt

Ireland scrum coach Greg Feek insists last weekend’s victory over South Africa was ‘bittersweet’ in that there are areas they need to work on ahead of the visit of Georgia in the second GUINNESS Series game.

Ireland defeated the Springboks 29-15 in the series opener and while delighted with the result, Greg Feek feels there are some notable improvements to be made up front particularly in terms of reacting to what the opposition throws at them.

“We’re looking at Georgia but that bittersweet feeling of beating South Africa is still there. A lot of the forwards felt that. You’ve got to take the win but you’ve also got to be honest in terms of how it went,” he said, referring to the dominance the South African scrum exerted at times.

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“From my perspective, we prepared in a certain way. We put a lot of emphasis on not giving anything away, no cheap penalties in the scrum – not pushing up before the ball came in.

“Maybe it took the focus off what was coming at us directly. That can be easily corrected. We want to correct that and there’s no better test than against the Georgians, who seem to have been scrummaging since they were two-years-old! They love it and they’re good at it.”

Georgia are 15th in the IRB World Rankings and come to Dublin this week on the back of a 23-9 home defeat to Tonga. For Feek, Sunday’s clash with the Lelos is about focusing on what Ireland bring to the game and getting their systems right.

“If you look at some of the games, the Georgians are trying some inventive things. They have got some dangerous patterns to what they do. Their defence comes up, so you can’t go out there and just throw the ball around and think you’re going to score tries.

“You’ve got to be organised. You’ve got to be committed to breakdowns and set pieces and need to win your own ball. That is the first and foremost what we will be trying to do.

“Their results haven’t gone that well, but they have caused teams problems and that feeling of performing well and winning is something you want to have.

“Winning and not quite getting it right is not a good feeling, so we want to try and perform well in most of the areas we can. It is hard to get it perfect but if we at least get those percentages up, it’s a good place.”

This GUINNESS Series has seen the introduction of Leinster tighthead Tadhg Furlong to the Ireland training squad and while Feek reckons it may be too soon for him to feature at Test level, the experience of training with the senior team will benefit the young prop when that first cap comes along.

Meanwhile, Furlong’s provincial colleague Mike Ross came through the South Africa game unscathed and the scrum coach believes the Corkman did well during his time on the pitch. 

“It’s been good. You always look at positives when you’ve got injuries and Nathan White’s out, Marty (Moore) is out but it’s given us an opportunity and for these guys to come in and do live scrums and see how the whole thing works and hopefully in the future we have more guys knocking on the door who are ready to play Test rugby.

“I don’t have a time limit on how many games that is, or how much time that is. Once they come into camp, that is a really positive thing and (the other tightheads) Stephen Archer and Rodney (Ah You) are going really well as well.”

Feek added: “The way the game against South Africa went, it was a bit stop-start. There was a bit of kicking and that sort of thing. It suited Rossy in the end. Obviously scrum-time we weren’t happy a lot of the time but I know with his history, getting in, you learn to get better.

“I think, with his experience, we can rely on Rossy to do the job. It was good, he did a great job all in all – 72 or 74 minutes – he played well.”