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Thread: Cowan moving up the Pek-ing order at Western Force

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    Cowan moving up the Pek-ing order at Western Force

    Article from:
    Nick Taylor
    October 24, 2009 07:00pm


    WESTERN Force prop Pek Cowan could be looking at a new life in the front row.
    Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has handed Cowan Australia's third hooking spot on the grand slam tour behind Stephen Moore and Tatafu Polota-Nau.

    It is a position the Force is still looking to fill after the loss of the experienced Tai McIsaac and second string rake Luke Holmes from last season's squad.

    The side's most experienced hooker is former Australia A Schools representative Ben Whittaker, who only played 56 minutes of Super rugby in three games last season.

    The only other option is Ryan Tyrell, from Rockingham, who has been moved from the flank by Force coaching staff.

    A specialist loosehead prop with three Test caps, Cowan has not played hooker in a competition game.

    "The possibility of moving to hooker was pitched to me at the start of the year,'' Cowan said.

    "Robbie (Deans) asked me if I would consider covering all the options in the front row.

    "After the Tri-Nations, we stepped up the process. It has been a real learning and practising process.''

    His first real scrummaging at hooker came during the Wallabies' inter-squad trial two weeks ago.

    "That's probably as hard a scrum as you could get. A spot on the tour was at stake,'' he said.

    "There was full noise, but it didn't feel uncomfortable. It was actually quite enjoyable and satisfying being right in the middle of it.

    "I've played both sides of the scrum and they are putting a lot of trust in me but I'll do anything to get another Test and one more after that and one more after that.''

    Despite getting set to squeeze into the middle of the front row, Cowan is determined not to sacrifice his long hair.

    "I'll be keeping the headgear on. I saw how Tai's ears ended up and I'll be holding onto the hair for as long as possible,'' he said

    http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/stor...005403,00.html

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    "Robbie (Deans) asked me if I would consider covering all the options in the front row."

    If I was Pek, I'd maybe be just a little concerned about what that would mean for my prospects of ever starting a game. I'd also perhaps worry that, with a Super coach that has often spoken about his responsibility to the national side, I might be starting over at establishing myself at provincial level and becoming master of no position.

    Has there ever been a front row generalist before, covering all three positions? Given some of the criticism Smit got earlier this year, I guess Pek will need to become team captain quick smart.

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    I would guess that depends upon what form the covering of all positions will take. If he's a specialist prop with the option of covering all three slots, he'd make a fantastic starter. You could shorten your bench, put two props instead of a prop and a hooker, have extra cover so that with a coservative mix you could throw everything at the opposition as long as Pekko's fit.

    I'd suggest the only scary thing might be shooting to become a starting hooker, the conversion would surely take more than a couple of games and he would probably lose quality until he'd sorted the technoique out a bit.

    If the Wallabies are pushing him to consider it, I wouldn't think he'd be wise to refuse though!

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    C'mon the

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyS View Post
    "Robbie (Deans) asked me if I would consider covering all the options in the front row."

    If I was Pek, I'd maybe be just a little concerned about what that would mean for my prospects of ever starting a game. I'd also perhaps worry that, with a Super coach that has often spoken about his responsibility to the national side, I might be starting over at establishing myself at provincial level and becoming master of no position.

    Has there ever been a front row generalist before, covering all three positions? Given some of the criticism Smit got earlier this year, I guess Pek will need to become team captain quick smart.
    I think the deal with Smit was that he was a tighthead, then converted to a hooker and has now converted back into a tighthead. I would say having Pek become a front row generalist would be a bad idea but if he was both a loosehead and a hooker or a loosehead and a tighthead it makes a lot of sense. He isn't likely to get much of a look in at 1 with Benn Robinson in amazing form and a fair bit of talent able to play there (Greg Holmes, Ben Alexander, Sekope Kepu, Matt Dunning and potentially Tim Fairbrother) on the other hand, past TPN and Stephen Moore who is there really? Saia Faingaa has potential but is years off, Sean Hardmann and Adam Freier are winding their careers down. There are a couple of young bucks running around but you hit your straps as a hooker around 25 so they are a good while off. If he can get his throwing right (or at least better than TPNs) he has the aggression, the fuel to play a good 80 minutes and the scrummaging ability to make a pretty servicable hooker. And if Deans sticks with TPN it will do Cowan's cause of winning a permanent number 1 jersey no harm by being the option for throwing in at the lineout.

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    Chuffed for Pek (very clever young man) - but Hookers develop with age like a good wine, they need to breathe and mature but we still need options now

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