Scotland prepared for physical Georgia
Scotland coach Andy Robinson has urged his players to be more physical when they play Georgia in their Pool B World Cup match on Wednesday.
Scotland have made 11 changes to the team which crossed over for two tries in the last few minutes to score a flattering 34-24 win over Romania in Invercargill on Saturday.
The Scots were shaken by the intensity, strength and abrasive approach of the Romanians, both in the scrums and at the breakdowns.
“We expect Georgia to be a tough game, even harder than that against Romania,” Robinson said.
“We need to be more physical. We need to get field position and look after the ball better.”
“The Georgians have a very good scrum and that’s part of our planning.”
“It’s the first time we’ve gone with a five forwards-two backs split on the bench and it’s because we feel we have to counter that strength.”
“The Georgians want to play in the Six Nations. They will see this as an opportunity to put their hand up for that and this is a huge game for them on the global stage. If you think back to 2007 when they just lost to Ireland (10-14) they got very close.”
The only players from the Scotland starting lineup against Romania to start again are prop Allan Jacobsen, loose forward Kelly Brown, right wing Matt Evans and Sean Lamont, who moves from centre to the left wing.
“It is very difficult for players to play two big games in four days,” Robinson said.
“We did some good things against Romania but we conceded 24 points. We can’t afford to do that. We want to limit the number of penalties we give away and we want to get a collective edge to how we defend.”
“But I think it’s a cracking side we’ve selected to play Georgia.”
Halfback Rory Lawson, who will take over the captaincy from regular skipper Alastair Kellock against Georgia, described the match against Romania as a ‘wake-up call’.
“Hopefully we have learnt our lessons from Romania and now we want to move on. We’ve had to look at ourselves,” Lawson said.
“We have a strong squad so we are bringing in fresh legs. A lot of the Georgian pack play in the French Top 14 competition. They have strong forwards and we are wary of that.”