Tahs expecting Super battle with Jaguares
RUGBY UNION: Having delivered an improved Super Rugby scrummaging performance against the Sharks, the Waratahs know they will need to take it to the next level when they face Mario Ledesma's Jaguares in Buenos Aires this weekend.
The former Wallabies scrum guru quit Australian rugby late last year to take up the head coach role at the Jaguares and will be desperate to see his side break through for their first win of the season against a team he knows so well.
NSW and Test prop Tom Robertson said his side were bracing for a huge challenge in the set piece.
"The Argentinians love their scrum so we're definitely expecting a big battle up front,” Robertson said from Buenos Aires.
"We're still not happy with how we went against the Sharks - there were a few penalties that we gave away although it's nothing that we can't fix.”
As well as his three years with the Wallabies, Ledesma spent the 2016 Super Rugby season coaching at the Waratahs and Robertson admits the former Puma knows most of the forwards' strengths and weaknesses.
However, Robertson said he had tweaked his technique under highly-regarded new NSW forwards coach Simon Cron, who is the nephew of All Blacks scrum coach Mike Cron - widely recognised as the greatest scrum technician in world rugby.
"He definitely knows our game inside and out, and our strengths and weakness, but at the same time we've got a lot of new coaches in this year, especially Simon Cron,” Robertson said.
"From a scrum perspective I think my technique has changed a lot and some of the deficiencies, especially around the scrum, he's been able to fix.”
Following their 24-24 draw with the Sharks, Robertson said the Waratahs had identified ball security as the main area for improvement.
He said his team never put together more than four phases, which meant they weren't able to build pressure on the defence.
"We scored three tries but we left a lot of points out there,” Robertson said.
Key back Kurtley Beale remains in doubt for the Sunday morning (AEDT) match after injuring his ribs against the Sharks, with the Waratahs to name their side on Friday.