Robinson points finger at Hartley
March 10, 2011
Andy Robinson has brought focus onto the England scrum © Getty Images
Scotland boss Andy Robinson has accused England hooker Dylan Hartley of 'milking' penalties at the scrum prior to Sunday's Calcutta Cup clash at Twickenham.
The Northampton hooker has been in the spotlight already during the Six Nations due to Wales boss Warren Gatland's attack on his discipline and lineout work, and now Robinson has confirmed that he wants to see referee Romain Poite keep a lid on things at scrum-time.
Scotland's scrum came under immense pressure from France in round one, to the tune of a penalty try, but Robinson has 'no issue' with their set-piece and is hoping for a fair contest.
"I think the England scrum is very good, but what's important for us is that the scrum doesn't stand up," he said. "I have no issue with our scrum. If we go backwards as we did against France I'm happy to deal with that.
"What we don't want to happen is that these scrums get stood up and I believe there are times when Hartley does that, either to milk the penalty or to give the referee the impression that the defending side is going backwards.
"If England are stronger than us, collectively better than us when the scrum stays down, then we need to deal with that, but we've been working hard at staying square and taking the scrum to England."
Scotland will also have to deal with the threat posed by England out wide, with winger Chris Ashton currently in a rich vein of form. Scotland centre Joe Ansbro, a team-mate of Ashton's at Northampton, believes that his side need to halt the charge of England's big ball carriers to negate the back-three.
"Ashy's a great runner and this championship it's his support lines that have paid dividends," he said. "For us to shut that down we need to make sure we stop their big runners, because they're the guys that get the offloads.
"Ashy's the best player I've seen at getting on to those offloads and once he's gone you're not going to catch him. Primarily we need to stop the big runners - they've got big, strong centres, big, strong forwards - from getting over the gain-line and hopefully keep Ashy quiet."
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