We had Mike Ruddock was on our 'In From The Side' podcast this week with Dennis Hickie and Emmett Byrne. He talked about all things rugby: from his son Rhys Ruddock's call-up to the Irish World Cup squad, to how Wales have been doing, to the upcoming quarterfinals.
During the podcast Ruddock discusses the Welsh failure to put Australia away in their crucial pool decider last Saturday. He pinpoints Wales's inability to dominate Australia up front, specifically in the scrum,, when they had a two-man advantage.
When you have got 15 v 13 and in you are in a game of that magnitude that is when your scrum should dominate them. The fact that Wales had a full pack of 8 and Australia had a reduced pack, they should have put them to the sword and the fact that they didn’t have the fire-power up front will come back to haunt them.
For Ruddock the lack of fire-power in the front row is less down to the players and more down to selection of the squad. He believes that Warren Gatland made a mistake before the World Cup in not selecting Adam Jones and Richard Hibbard. This has left the Welsh squad with inexperienced international front rowers.
I would have used Adam Jones for a half or 40 mins just to take the heat out of some of the young bucks on the loosehead side and then had Samson Lee ready for the next World cup behind them. Once Adam Jones and Hibbard aren’t there and Samson Lee is struggling you are relying on Thomas Francis and Andrew Jarvis who at this moment of time are just not good enough.
The Springboks will more that likely target the Welsh front row which has been under immense pressure throughout the World Cup.
You can listen to the 'In From The Side' podcast below.