Hastings: Scotland must play "ugly rugby"
January 31, 2013
Gavin Hastings never recorded a win at Twickenham with Scotland © PA Photos
Gavin Hastings believes the only way Scotland can end their 30-year losing streak at Twickenham on Saturday is to smash England up front.
The former Scotland and British & Irish Lions captain failed to record a win on English soil in his 61 Test appearances for his country but is confident the current squad can upset the odds in their Six Nations opener on Saturday. Hastings believes interim coach Scott Johnson's decision to select a physical pack could prove pivotal in the latest Calcutta Cup clash and ultimately inspire a first win at English rugby's HQ since Jim Aitkin's side back in 1983.
"[Scotland] have probably selected one of the biggest sets of forwards ever picked in world rugby," he told talkSPORT. "I would expect Scott Johnson to say, 'Listen guys, you're bigger than the opposition - just go and smash them."
"It's not going to be pretty. If Scotland are going to have a chance they have to play ugly rugby, hurt the English and create space that way," added Hastings. "We've got a couple of great wingers in Tim Visser and new cap Sean Maitland. Scotland's real perennial problem has been scoring tries but if they manage to score a couple of tries on Saturday they'll give themselves a chance."
A poor autumn campaign that culminated with defeat Tonga has left Scotland ranked 12th in the IRB world rankings while England upset No.1 side New Zealand in their latest outing. As a result, Hastings believes the Scots must also overcome a huge psychological challenge.
"For the sanity of all Scottish supporters, we hope the Scotland team will be competitive. When you have this record of not having won at Twickenham for 30 years, it's a massive hurdle to overcome.
"It's a given the Scottish guys will be up for the game - we can take that for granted. Then once the first 20 minutes are over, you have to take your scoring opportunities and see how the whole thing develops. A wee bit of good fortune, the ball bouncing the right way, we'll give ourselves a fighting chance."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Top 14, Super Rugby and the Aviva Premiership with fireworks and monsters both featuring
Firdose Moonda looks at the moves towards greater integration within South African rugby ... and what the future holds
It is 100 years this week since the last international match played in Europe before the outbreak of World War One. Rewind remembers the fixture's longest-living survivor
Martin Gillingham looks ahead to what he believes is the most remarkable ever climax to the league phase of the Top 14