Six Nations: Gregor Townsend declares more to come from Scotland
Gregor Townsend believes there is more to come from Scotland after his side put the brakes on France’s Grand Slam quest.
Having started their Guinness Six Nations campaign with defeats to Ireland and England, things have taken a turn for the better for the Scots after they followed up victory in Rome with an impressive 28-17 triumph over France in Edinburgh on Sunday.
Fabien Galthie’s new-look outfit took the lead thanks to Damian Penaud’s try, but Mohamed Haouas’ moment of madness swung the game back in the Scots’ favour as the prop was sent off for punching Jamie Ritchie.
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Scotland 28-17 France as it happened
Townsend’s men finally found their verve after this as Sean Maitland crossed in the minutes either side of half-time before Stuart McInally sealed a precious win that ended the visitors’ hopes of a first clean sweep since 2010 and the Scotland boss is predicting more of the same when his side face Wales in Cardiff next Saturday.
“I’ve been really encouraged right the way through the campaign,” Townsend said. “The two weeks before the Ireland game was shown in the way we played, how physical we were and how we were able to play at a real pace and create opportunities.
“Yeah, we didn’t win and left a couple of tries out there, but we’ve been consistent throughout. Even the England game, we were proud of how we came back in that second half.
“We have been in the fight in those two defeats. But these two wins showed the mentality and confidence to get out and find a way to win – and there’s more to come, more defensively even though we’re doing that area well.
These two wins showed the mentality and confidence to get out and find a way to win – and there’s more to come
“You get confidence when you see the rewards you get for doing something, and the way we’re training, it really gives me a lot of encouragement.”
The sending-off was a turning point, but Scotland had been on top from the start.
Adam Hastings continues to grow at stand-off in Finn Russell’s absence, Hamish Watson and Ritchie made themselves a menace with their breakdown skulduggery while new skipper Stuart Hogg looks more and more comfortable with the captaincy as the weeks go by.
And Townsend reckons it would be harsh on his team to see their performance diminished by too much focus on Haouas’ act of folly.
FULL-TIME | Scotland have beaten France at BT Murrayfield 28-17, a three-try performance earning consecutive @SixNationsRugby victories! #AsOne #SCOvFRA pic.twitter.com/0MsgxnEKCU
“Obviously (the red card) is important but I thought we played better in the first half than the second half,” Townsend said.
“We had France on the back foot and we turned them over nine times in the first half in the way we defended, and we had opportunities getting in behind them.
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