Townsend adamant 'true Scotland' weren't on show in Wales rugby hammering

Angelica Greene
February 12, 2018

Scotland wouldn't let the visitors pull away and Laidlaw cut the lead back to just three points.

In the weekend's remaining Test, Ireland host Italy in a fixture for which all the statistics point to a comfortable home win.

Having captained Scotland more often than any other player, the former Edinburgh player will find himself in the unusual position of being vice-captain on Sunday. "If they start hitting soft shoulders, then they can get a bit of a rumble on and become unsafe and get into that traditional way that they are very good at, off-loading and getting behind you which can be quite risky", said Barclay, who sounded like a man who was trying to ignore a movie he had seen before.

With the help of Opta, we take a look at the best stats ahead of the second round of matches.

Townsend was shocked by their performance and it is no surprise the team to face France features plenty of changes. "The players have responded really well".

"We need to go out and be positive and obviously it's a must-win game for us if we want to have anything to do with this championship, but it's must win for France as well, so it's going to be a tough game".

Part of Laidlaw's genius under Cotter was extracting the best from Finn Russell.

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If you can't get to a TV, the match will also be shown on the BBC's iPlayer service. "Lionel can relieve us with his kicking if the pressure is strong". "In our defence we were off the ball", said Laidlaw.

"We've got to learn, it's a different competition".

"That was a real learning curve from last week to this week so we are delighted to get that shift".

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend reacted to the 34-7 thrashing by Wales last weekend by making three changes each in the forwards and the backs.

"It always helps in decision-making that he (Russell) can speak to someone on the field with that amount of experience", Townsend said of the 59-cap Laidlaw, who joined French club Clermont from Gloucester previous year.

"We've got to get the set piece right and build from there". And if that game plan can work against the Australians, it can work against anyone in world record, including, dare we say, Jones' England.

In his absence, Ali Price moved into pole position for the number nine shirt, but an error-strewn display from the Glasgow Warrior in Cardiff opened the door for Laidlaw's return to the side.

Surprisingly Townsend did not empty his bench, which is so often the norm in modern Test rugby, opting to keep faith with his side in the ascendancy and only using four of his possible eight replacements.

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