Wales v Argentina, Millennium Stadium, November 21
Gatland not afraid of Pumas' pack
November 17, 2009
Wales coach Warren Gatland is confident in his pack © Getty Images
Wales coach Warren Gatland is confident that his side will not be out-muscled by a heavyweight Argentina pack at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.
Gethin Jenkins and Paul James were under surprise pressure at times in Wales' narrow win over Samoa last Friday. Much has been made of the fearsome Pumas' front-row but Gatland has belief in his forwards.
"We need to back ourselves at the scrum," said Gatland. "We are not going to put (Argentina's) scrum on a pedestal. We've got to make sure we switch on - it is not a big issue for us. They are not the greatest scrummaging threat [in the world]. We've looked at tapes of the past.
"I've spoken to Graham Rowntree (England scrummaging coach), who said they thought the Australian scrum was significantly stronger than the Argentine one. Argentina are a dogged side. They are tough and physical, but they don't play a huge amount of rugby, which is what we saw a couple of years ago in the World Cup.
"We are expecting them to kick a lot more than they did against England last Saturday. They are a tough side to beat and to put away, and we are expecting that tough, physical encounter against them. We've got to be smart in terms of the way we play. We perhaps need to up our tempo and intensity from what we had last week (against Samoa)."
Wales have struggled to finish opportunities in recent matches and are in the midst of a rare try drought. Again, though, Gatland is sure that his side can find the right response this weekend.
"We are trying to play some rugby," he said. "We missed a lot of opportunities against Samoa. If we had taken a couple of those, two or three maybe, and didn't give away the intercept try, then the score is 30-odd to six.
"We've been a little bit critical of the fact we didn't take those chances, but the positives were we did create them. When England went out there and played a little bit of rugby (last Saturday), I thought it stressed Argentina."