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Why Deans has got Wales taped in bid to turn tables on Gatland.


AUSTRALIA have revealed why their wounded stars have been ordered to study videos of Wales' Six Nations triumph... in a bid to turn the tables on Warren Gatland and his Lions in Melbourne.

The Wallabies are targeting Adam Jones by poring over every Welsh scrum during the 2013 Championship to work out his strengths, weaknesses and ways to combat him.

Coach Robbie Deans believes his hi-tech analysts can come up trumps and provide his forwards with information which gives them the edge as they gear up for Saturday's make-or-break second Test.

In particular, Australia have been watching footage from Wales' Championship clashes with England, Scotland and France this season, games which went very differently for scrum rock Jones, pictured.

By his own admission, the Ospreys tight-head struggled out in Paris, but then bounced back in dominant fashion for the rest of the campaign, notably against the Scots and in the title-winning 30-3 thumping of England. The two matches saw a host of scrum penalties awarded Wales' way, with ace goal-kicker Leigh Halfpenny making hay.

Wales' game at Murrayfield saw a Test record 18 penalty attempts at goal, the Scots regularly blown up for engaging too early.

Tellingly, the referee that day was Craig Joubert, the South African who will be in charge of Saturday's second Test. The Wallabies believe Wales had calculated in ad-vance exactly how much time would elapse between Joubert saying "touch" and "engage" and profited from their homework.

Scotland coach Scott Johnson claimed afterwards his team had been "conned", insisting Wales had held back at the scrum intentionally to give the impression his players were trying to engage too early.

Deans' team have been looking closely at the footage as they aim to get the better of the Lions in the scrum, with outfoxing wily old campaigner Jones their primary goal.

His opposite number, Ben Alexander, outlined the Wallaby plan, saying: "The reason Adam Jones is rated one of the best tight-heads in the world is he is very smart.

"There were a few little games he plays around the engagement and I am sure he has a few more up his sleeve for this weekend.

"It is up to us to study the footage and we have been looking at how Wales went in the Nations. "They had a tough game against France, but dominated the other scrums, utilising the experience of Jones. "It is the tactical side of the scrum that makes it so much fun; otherwise it would just be heads bashing against each other, mind-numbingly boring. "Definitely the key to the Lions scrum is Adam Jones. He drives that. "Joubert refereed the Brumbies against the Crusaders earlier this year and he did us a couple of times early on for early engagement. "It is something he looks for and the Lions tried to coax us into going early in Brisbane last weekend."

But Alexander warned: "We have always been confident about our set-piece. We do not care if people judge Australia's scrum on a couple of matches that took place six or eight years ago. "We managed to turn the tables on a couple at the weekend. "The Lions won't be happy with the way they finished."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Jun 27, 2013
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