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Dorian West enjoys dominant Northampton scrum display

Published 27/11/2015

Dorian West hailed the impact of Northampton's scrum
Dorian West hailed the impact of Northampton's scrum

Northampton forwards coach Dorian West was full of praise for his pack and in particular new signing Kieran Brookes as they beat Gloucester 15-3.

Brookes was man of the match in the European Champions Cup win at Glasgow last week and the tighthead powered the home pack to another dominant display, with Gloucester conceding seven penalties at the scrum on a wet and windy night at Franklin's Gardens.

The 25-year-old Brookes was signed from Newcastle in the summer and his power forced Gloucester to replace loosehead Paddy McAllister after just 18 minutes, with three of Stephen Myler's five penalties coming from the scrum.

West said: "I think he has been a good scrummer for the last few years. There are certain bits and bobs you need to tweak here and there and get him in the right system, but he is with a group of players who want to scrum now.

"I am really pleased with how it is going and I am sure he will go a long way. He is already a good player but the little things we do as a group will help him, and he is immensely strong as well so that is a bonus."

Brookes was on the bench for much of England's World Cup but will be pushing strongly for a starting place when new boss Eddie Jones assembles his squad for next year's Six Nations.

West added: "Kieran has been really good for us and we are really pleased with how he is going. Across the board, front row-wise, we are working really hard and getting some good support from the back five.

"Last week we were dominant against Glasgow and after three penalties somebody was in the bin, but tonight it wasn't until seven or eight penalties and not until the last minute of the game that they had somebody binned - those sort of things make a difference. I would have liked to have seen a yellow card earlier."

Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys said it was the first time this season his scrum had been dominated in such a way.

"The wet conditions made the set-piece even more important tonight," said McAllister. "Paddy has come in this year and our scrum has been very good all season until now.

"You have to give Northampton a lot of credit, they have a quality pack. They put us under pressure throughout the game with a lot of scrums and it didn't allow us to get any momentum.

"We are not making excuses, it wasn't good enough tonight. They have built a lot of their success around their scrum over the last few years.

"Both teams were making a lot of unforced errors, on a night like that it was always going to be the case. What you want is to make less errors than the opposition, but that wasn't the case."

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