Stowers confident of scrum improvementBy Alan Manicom
December 10, 2010
George Stowers admits that London Irish need to rediscover their set-piece form in Sunday’s Heineken Cup clash.
The Samoa back-row forward is still smarting from last weekend’s 23-14 defeat at home to Leicester Tigers in the Premiership.
Exiles’ scrums and line-outs, such a strength in recent years, have been malfunctioning and Stowers said: “We know we let ourselves down.
“We lost the game because of our set-piece. But it is fixable and we are going to come back strong.
“Toulon will try to spoil the fun. They will have studied the Leicester game and will target our scrums and line-outs. We pride ourselves on our set-pieces and we want to get that grunt back.”
Coach Toby Booth has been focusing on scrummaging in training this week after admitting Exiles have not devoted as much time to it as they would have liked.
He said: “We have had to do a number of other things to catch up and maybe set-piece has paid the price. I take my responsibility for that.
“But the scrum machine and the surrounding areas are well worn. What we have produced up front has not been good enough. You have to credit the opposition for some of that, but if you take a focus onto something else you have to make sure you don’t slip away on other things.”
David Paice is expected to be sidelined for at least two months after rupturing ankle ligaments against Leicester, but fellow hooker James Buckland has recovered from his own ankle problem and has been declared fit to face Toulon.