Kellock targets big performance
March 10, 2011
Scotland coach Andy Robinson and captain Al Kellock plot England's downfall during a training session at Murrayfield © PA Photos
Scotland captain Alastair Kellock has thrown the gauntlet down to his side ahead of their Six Nations showdown with England at Twickenham on Sunday.
The Scots are win-less in this year's Championship having been beaten by France, Wales and Ireland and have not tasted victory at England's HQ since 1983 but Kellock believes the latest clash with the 'auld enemy' can inspire a return to form for his side.
"In rugby terms it doesn't get much bigger," said the lock. "The rivalry is a great thing. It's fantastic, especially for the supporters to get really involved in it. It will be a great atmosphere, but for us it's about performance, it's about trying to get a win."
Scotland depart Edinburgh for London tomorrow with a side showing four changes from the starting XV which began the 21-18 loss to Ireland. In the backs, Ulster's Simon Danielli, Northampton's Joe Ansbro and Gloucester's Rory Lawson are recalled while Leinster's Nathan Hines adds extra grunt to the back-row following a narrow loss to Ireland at Murrayfield last time out.
"We certainly are due everybody a win," he added. "There was a large degree of expectation before the championship which was well merited based on the results we've had over the last couple of years. So far it's not been anywhere near where we wanted it to be or where anybody else wanted it to be.
"We need to go down, we need to perform and we need to play well. If we could do that we could get something special out of the game."
Kellock has been impressed by England thus far in the tournament, adding, "I watched their first game against Wales and thought they were maybe not quite as good as everybody thought. But then they changed tactics and the last two games they've looked even better. "There was a definite ploy when they were playing against Wales and they did it exceptionally well."
Kellock acknowledges Scotland must improve to have any hope of ending a 28-year wait for victory at Twickenham. "There's a lot of areas that need to go right for us, but if they go right we've got an opportunity. We need to control the ball, we need to stop their counter-attack, we need to stop the set-piece.
"It's something we've not done in a game so far. We've done some things extremely well, but there's always been two or three areas that we need to tighten up on. That's what England have been very strong at. They have got everything working and going in the same direction."
No.8 Kelly Brown is equally positive about Scotland's chances and has backed his side to surprise the hosts. "We know how they play and we've got a couple of plans up our sleeves to attack them," he said. "They've been playing some great stuff, they've won three out of three, they're the form team of the championship and they've been scoring a lot of tries.
"The challenges don't get much bigger but it's one that we're very much looking forward to. We've shown in patches just exactly what we can do. For us it's about starting well, putting the pressure on them in the first 20 minutes and really getting stuck into them and trying to upset their rhythm. From then anything can happen.
"We're a team, it's all about the team. We know as a team when we play, all 15 or 22 of us have got to be at or very near our best. We know that when we do that we can challenge and we can beat anybody."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter
While the Super Rugby season enters the all-important knockout phase, elsewhere pre-season training never looked so enjoyable. We round-up the best snaps in our Week in Pictures
"Our scrums and lineouts are sometimes not that good but our men are very brave." Ken Borland finds that rugby is on the rise in Senegal
Laurie Fisher talks about the Brumbies and Gloucester, and provides revealing thoughts on the player involvement during the glory days in Canberra