England's Toby Flood is tackled Australia's Sitaleki
Timani. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne
Wallabies prop Benn Robinson praised giant second-rower
Sitaleki Timani for his part in turning Australia's
much-maligned scrum around on their European tour.
Robinson's comments come as the Wallabies prepare to face the
respected Italian scrum in Florence on Saturday.
Australia's pack answered their northern hemisphere critics
last weekend against England in a 20-14 win at Twickenham
where the Wallabies' scrum was expected to be dominated.
But it was the Wallabies who did the dominating with the
return of tighthead prop Ben Alexander and Timani, who both
missed the 33-6 loss to France in Paris the week before.
Timani, who is 203cm and 120kg, terrorised England's ball
carriers with some punishing hits and caused trouble on the
edges with some strong carries.
For loosehead prop Robinson, however, it's the scrummaging of
his Tongan-born NSW Waratahs' teammate that is a real
strength in his game.
"He's certainly got plenty of punch in everything he does in
attack and defence, and I'd hate to tackle him, but I think
he's a great scrummager. He provides plenty of weight behind
our tightheads," Robinson said.
The result of Timani driving behind Alexander helped the
Wallabies No.3 totally outplay England loosehead Joe Marler,
who was replaced early in the second half.
"Blokes were really ripping in and I thought our backrow
scrummaged very well, our locks provided us with plenty of
weight so we could put pressure back on them," he said.
"Sitaleki's combination with Nathan (Sharpe) really worked
Timani is expecting the Italians to provide a tougher test
for the Australian pack.
The Italian pack is led by 90-Test veteran tighthead Martin
Castrogiovanni and did a good job in the 42-10 loss to the
All Blacks last Saturday in Rome.
"The scrum will be a big focus again this weekend and we
expect them to be very physical and tough ... at the scrum
and the breakdown," Timani said.
"We really have to step up this week because Italy will be
The Italians trailed the All Blacks by just 13-7 at halftime
and kept within 13 points of the world champions before New
Zealand scored three tries in the final 13 minutes. Prior to
that the Italians beat Tonga 28-23.