Scots can think out of Boks to double up

PETER WRIGHT believes Scotland showed enough in defeat against New Zealand to suggest they can claim a second consecutive win against South Africa at Murrayfield on Saturday.

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Richie Gray was outstanding against the All Blacks
Richie Gray was outstanding against the All Blacks

Despite the fact Andy Robinson's men lost 51-22, they scored three tries against the world champions and proved much more competitive than they had been in the corresponding fixture two years back.

With the Boks struggling to defeat Ireland, Wright reckons the Scots have enough in the locker to claim what would be a seminal success over the Southern Hemisphere giants.

The ex-international said: "I think the great thing for Scotland looking forward to the South Africa game is that we have beaten them before in the last meeting and that we have the game and the know-how to do so again.

"I watched their victory over Ireland at the weekend and it was all about bludgeoning their way to victory. That is the way they have always played and it is still there go-to game.

"Clearly they are not of the same quality as New Zealand and neither is anyone else and we showed enough against the All Blacks to suggest we can hurt the Boks.

"It was a strange feeling to watch Scotland ship 51 points and still be left thinking the All Blacks result was a positive one but that was the overall emotion I was left with.

"We scored three tries against the best team on the planet who had only shipped eight tries in their last 10 games, most of which have been against the other Southern Hemisphere sides.

"On top of that the forwards were excellent and showed they can mix it with the best and Richie Gray was outstanding.

"If the referee had red-carded Adam Thomson as he should have been the All Blacks would have been down a man for 35 minutes and that would have made it very interesting.

"It was a disgraceful decision and one that hurt us badly."

But the former British Lion also admitted there is plenty of room for improvement when the Boks hit town.

He said: "The negatives for me were a bit of a case of the same old, same old. We lost lineout ball because the delivery was not good enough, we were penalised for setting too early at the scrum and our discipline, yet again, was poor.

"Defensively we held back on occasion and there were some poor handling errors.

"Yet despite all that we gave New Zealand a game when I was worried we might have shipped 60 points without reply and there were several players in the side who can and must produce better against the Boks.

"So we have given ourselves a platform into the South Africa game."

Wright also welcomed the news that Glasgow Warriors have signed Mark Bennett on loan from French cracks Clermont Auvergne until the end of the season.

The 20-year-old centre had previously been part of the Warriors Elite Development system, making his first XV debut at the age of 18 away to Leinster in May 2011.

Wrighty said: "I coached Mark at under-20 level with Scotland and he is a talented boy and a Glasgow boy. He is the template for the type of young talent Glasgow want to bring in.

"Hopefully he can kick on with Glasgow and maybe there will be a permanent deal in the pipeline by the summer.

"He will benefit hugely from Gregor Townsend's coaching."


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