Two penalty tries from dominant scrummaging in as many weeks means nothing to Brumbies and Wallabies tighthead prop Ben Alexander.
Not when you’re about to pack down against the man once regarded the world’s premier loosehead and the All Blacks’ most capped prop (107) Tony Woodcock.
The Brumbies’ scrum has experienced moments of success in recent weeks, but it will receive its biggest Super Rugby test yet when it takes on a monster Blues pack at Canberra Stadium on Friday night.
And while Alexander won’t have to face the second most capped All Black since Keven Mealamu is out with a calf injury, the Blues front row still boasts current NZ prop and 130kg giant Charlie Faumuina.
The Brumbies front-row are no slouches themselves though.
Led by stalwart Wallabies hooker Stephen Moore and the 61-Test capped Alexander, they are pushing towards a 90 per cent scrum success rate this season.
Despite losing to the Rebels on the weekend, a dominant 47th-minute scrum earned the ACT franchise a penalty try, while their first of the night helped Jesse Mogg slice through.
It was just one week after their match-sealing penalty try against the Stormers.
The Blues on the other hand have had the worst performing scrum this year with a 67 per cent success rate before their win against the Highlanders, where it bounced back to win all seven of its put-ins.
But when push comes to shove, stats don’t mean a whole lot to the man who has to pack down opposite Woodcock.
It’s not penalty tries that tell the picture, says Alexander, but consistency.
“It means nothing what we’ve achieved the last couple of weeks. We’ve still had some really bad scrums,” Alexander said.
“If you want to talk about consistency, (Woodcock’s) been consistent over a long time and the scrum laws have changed a lot over that time.
“Obviously this year has been probably the biggest change, but every year there has been a bind or different change and the bloke just gets on with it and adjusts.”
However Alexander, 29, admits that some elements of the new scrums laws introduced this year may have worked in the Brumbies’ favour.
“The hit’s been taken out of it. I don’t think we were really ever trying to get a big hit. So maybe that’s benefited us,” he said.