Townsend: All Blacks 'blip' behind us
November 17, 2010
Gregor Townsend believes that Scotland can challenge the All Blacks © PA Photos
Scotland attack coach Gregor Townsend believes that his side can challenge the Springboks at Murrayfield on Saturday despite last weekend's hammering at the hands of New Zealand.
The former British & Irish Lions fly-half has dismissed their 49-3 loss to the All Blacks as a 'blip' following their series win in Argentina and insisted that they will create opportunities against the Grand Slam-chasing Boks.
"We know what's coming for us," he said. "They're going to threaten us, they seem very fit. They played well in the second half against Wales and took the game to Ireland right from the beginning.
"But there will be opportunities if we work hard off the ball and we're clinical with our execution. We have to be defensively sound, we have to take our opportunities, but we beat Ireland away and we've beaten Argentina away in our last four games.
"The New Zealand game we're looking at as a blip. We're hoping the players have learned a lot from that and we know our standards can't slip down to that level again or we'll be beaten by a number of teams, never mind South Africa."
Scotland name their side to face the Boks on Thursday afternoon but have a number of injury concerns, with skipper Mike Blair and flanker John Barclay headlining their problems. Centre Max Evans (shoulder), fly-half Dan Parks (knee), hooker Ross Ford (shoulder), lock Jim Hamilton (back), prop Alasdair Dickinson (shoulder) and wing Rory Lamont (thigh) have also been treated for injuries.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham
"These little deft touches, the nuances O'Driscoll has perfected are what Ireland will miss most." Tom Hamilton on Brian O'Driscoll's final Test in Dublin