Robinson wants aggressive response
September 12, 2011
The physicality of Romania's forwards caused Scotland some trouble © Getty Images
Scotland head coach Andy Robinson has opted to meet fire with fire in Wednesday's World Cup Pool B clash with Georgia and called for his team to get physical.
Robinson has named a team showing 11 changes to the XV which began Saturday's unconvincing 34-24 win over Romania in Invercargill, with Allan Jacobsen, Kelly Brown, Sean Lamont and Max Evans the only players retained.
Rory Lawson will captain the side, which features his Gloucester team-mates Scott Lawson, Jim Hamilton and Alasdair Strokosch in a pack selected to front up to a Georgia side deemed to possess more accomplished forwards than Romania.
"Right across the board there's real physicality about the side - we need to bring that physicality out in the way we play," he said. "One of the things we allowed Romania to do was get go-forward through their maul, through their scrum, but also through their pick and go and we've got to be able to stop that."
Robinson and his management team decided not to deviate from the prior selection plan despite the chaos caused by Romania's pack, the head coach insisting the scale of the changes was dictated by the proximity of the matches, rather than the performance on Saturday.
Scotland will be seeking a fifth successive victory in the game with Georgia, who are coached by former Scotland boss Richie Dixon, have won their last eight fixtures and came close to a shock defeat of Ireland in the last tournament four years ago.
"We see this Georgia game as a really tough game. We expect it to be harder than the Romania game," Robinson added."They want a place at the Six Nations table and they see this as an opportunity to put their hand up for that. This is a huge game for them in terms of being on the global stage and if you think back to 2007 they got very close."
While pleased with the four tries which secured the bonus-point success against Romania, Robinson was frustrated by the number of penalties conceded by his side and aspects of the defence around the breakdown. With Scotland's third Pool B match taking place on September 25, the Georgia game is a chance for players to secure their position for the match with Argentina in Wellington.
"They have a huge opportunity against a very good side, a physical side, to put their hands up. It's about performing on the day," he said. "Every player has points to prove. That's what we're looking for - the players collectively going out and performing."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September