Jenkins plans to punish Wallabies
Thursday 02 November 2006
Gethin Jenkins and his Wales front-row colleagues are determined to make the Australian pack suffer once again. Twelve months ago, the Wallaby forwards were crushed by England at Twickenham and then suffered another battering at the hands of Wales in Cardiff.
Australia fell to a 24-22 defeat, their first to Wales in 20 years, and endured the further ignominy of conceding a penalty try as they were being shunted back over their own line.
The visitors have focused more on their scrum following the appointment of their forward-orientated coaches, John Connolly and Michael Foley. But Wales prop Jenkins believes Australia will still be mentally scarred from their 2005 November maulings - and he is plotting to open some old wounds on Saturday.
"Last year obviously a lot was made of Australia's scrum after England took them apart and then they came here and we had a pushover try. If you've been somewhere and you've had a hiding in a scrum, you're going to be thinking about that next time you go there," Jenkins said. "So we'll see what they're thinking. After last year obviously we can take some benefits from our performance in the scrum."
That defeat proved the end for Eddie Jones, who was replaced as head coach by Connolly, the former Bath director of rugby. The Wallabies' emphasis has since shifted towards improving their forward base and 21-stone prop Rodney Blake has brought added bulk to their front row.
But the Wales coach, Gareth Jenkins, still believes the scrum remains Australia's Achilles' heel. Asked whether he detected any signs of improvement over the last 12 months, Jenkins admitted: "No, not really."
Gethin Jenkins starts his first Wales Test since the Grand Slam-clinching victory over Ireland in 2005. "I'm just looking forward to Saturday and relishing putting that No 1 jersey back on," he said.
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