Hart expecting forward tussle
October 22, 1999
All Black coach John Hart is expecting the Scottish forwards to set a stern test for his pack in the quarter final at Murrayfield on Sunday.
He believes that the influence of Jim Telfer and Iain McGeechan has been vital to the Scottish team over the past 12 months and believes like his own team the Scots will play with much with "passion and pride."
"Scotland have a pack that can play very well. Against Samoa I thought that the body positions of the Scots forwards was as good as I've seen in the competition," Hart said.
However he feels that the extra break which is side have had will be a telling factor. "Any team that has to play three tests in eight or nine days is disadvantaged. I was concerned about the structure of the competition from the moment I learned about it," he said.
"If Jim Telfer thinks that going through the playoffs is an advantage then he sees things differently from me. It's true that our test side hasn't played for two weeks but I consider training to be just as important as matches," added Hart.
The New Zealand coach is optimistic that the All Black pack, although not massive by past standards, will dominate.
"Against England our forwards showed that they could step up a gear," he said. "Set piece attacks are very different in the modern game so you have to have a range of options. It is more about creating continuity of phases. England did not have the variety of attack. They only once looked like scoring."