Warburton demands impressive win
February 11, 2012
Wales recorded a morale-boosting win in Ireland last weekend © Getty Images
Wales captain Sam Warburton believes that "scraping through" to victory will not be acceptable when his team resumes Six Nations business against Scotland on Sunday.
Warburton's team set their standard in this season's tournament by beating Ireland away from home last Sunday and scoring three tries. Three of Wales' remaining four Six Nations fixtures are at the Millennium Stadium, a factor which has contributed towards them being installed as major title contenders.
"Scraping through on the weekend would not be good enough," he said. "We have got to play well and have an impressive win. The World Cup was one step forward, and I think beating Ireland away was a big statement, but there is no point doing that and then struggling at home.
"We need to put in a strong performance defensively and in attack. If we want to be the best, then that is the attitude we've got to have."
Scotland arrive in Cardiff on the back of a debilitating defeat against England last time out, going down 13-6 despite creating numerous try-scoring chances. But one of their undoubted stars was Edinburgh No.8 David Denton, although the 22-year-old's outstanding display came as no surprise to Warburton.
"We (Cardiff Blues) played Edinburgh a couple of times in the Heineken Cup this season," he added. "After the first time we played against him, I said to Gethin (Jenkins) he was a hell of a player who had to be in the Scotland Six Nations squad.
"He was a real handful to play against. He's a great ball-carrier, a good attacker and he competes really hard. He's an athletic guy, so he covers all the bases."
Warburton will lead his team into battle on Sunday without lock Bradley Davies, who is serving a seven-week ban after being yellow-carded and cited for foul play against Ireland. There was also an incident at Twickenham two years when Alun-Wyn Jones headed to the sin-bin for a trip on Dylan Hartley and England scored 17 points in his absence on their way to a 30-17 victory.
Warburton was sent off during the agonising World Cup semi-final loss to France earlier this season, and Wales coach Warren Gatland revealed on Friday that he had suggested player fines of up to £30,000 for those who recklessly transgress. Warburton has backed his boss in that Wales, who are serious challengers for silverware, cannot afford such disciplinary lapses.
"I think a quite heavy fine would work," he said. "Players have been dropped before. If you get dropped and lose out financially, I don't think you would do it again. I know I wouldn't. It is definitely something we need to sort out."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Following the passing of Jack Kyle, Huw Richards pays tribute to arguably the finest player Ireland has produced
"When Mike Burton was sent off I thought the world had gone crazy - just Pommy bashing, hitting anyone." Behind the Rose heads back to 1975
The time for tinkering is over - England must nail their colours to the mast in key positions, writes Phil Vickery
"New Zealand-born Joe Schmidt has forged the Irish into a street-smart, well- prepared side," John Mitchell on the Irish renaissance