Hines - We need to boss breakdown
Nathan Hines says that Scotland's ability to win ball at the breakdown will be the foundation of any success against the All Blacks.
Last Updated: 06/11/08 6:07pm
Nathan Hines has said that Scotland's ability to win ball at the breakdown will be the foundation of any success against the All Blacks on Saturday.
The 31-year-old Australian-born lock said that, in spite of the presence of exciting backs such as Ben Cairns, Nick de Luca and Thom Evans in Frank Hadden's side, the outcome will be determined in the pack.
"You have to earn respect in every international game from the team you play against, especially against the top teams in the world," he said.
"You can't just go out there and start throwing the ball around; you have to earn the right to do that.
"First and foremost in a rugby match you have to get an advantage among the forwards.
"New Zealand are good in and around the breakdown - very, very effective - so we have to counter that and try and get good ball to the backs.
"That's a basic in every rugby game, but we have to nail it a bit harder because they are so effective in that area.
"The foundations of the game will be laid by the forwards. The game can be won from anywhere, but if you're going backwards and getting dominated up front then it's going to be a lot more difficult.
"The basis of any good team is the dominance in the ruck and collisions.
"Mike [Brewer] and has come in as forwards coach and highlighted things we have and haven't been doing, and that should make us more effective at the breakdown so that it is easier for Mike [Blair] at scrum-half."
Hines will make his 54th international appearance this weekend, eight years after making his Scotland debut against the All Blacks on their 2000 summer tour of New Zealand.
However, age has not withered Hines' abrasiveness on the rugby pitch - the Perpignan player just back from a 30-day ban in France for stamping.
And, despite missing a month during the build-up to this game through suspension, Hines added he has no concerns about being under-prepared for the Murrayfield showdown.
He said: "Given an opportunity like this, you have to be ready. Obviously, I would have liked to have played more but I've had a rest so I feel fresh, and I
think I've had enough time to get back into it having played the last couple of weekends.
"I've been training a lot so I don't think there will be any problem at all.
"You want to go up against the best in the world and we are getting to do that against New Zealand on Saturday and against South Africa the week after - that's what you want to measure yourself against.
"You want that as a young guy and as an older guy, who hasn't won against the All Blacks, you are longing for these opportunities and that big win because you know you won't get many more chances."
Meanwhile, Gloucester scrum-half Rory Lawson has been passed fit to take his place on the bench after recovering from a rib injury.