Scots remain confident despite defeat
November 10, 2008
De Luca feels the force of New Zealand's Neemia Tialata during the clash at Murrayfield © Getty Images
Nick De Luca insists Scotland will go into Saturday's clash against world champions South Africa with the belief they can cause an upset despite their heavy defeat by New Zealand.
Scotland slumped to a 32-6 loss against an under-strength All Blacks team at Murrayfield on Saturday. However, Frank Hadden's men created several good opportunities and put the tourists under intense pressure for long spells. And De Luca maintains the experience will stand them in good stead for their second Bank test of the autumn.
"We genuinely believed we could come away with a result and we haven't by a considerable margin," the 24-year-old said. "But we still believe we can come here on Saturday and hopefully create an upset. We have seen we can live with the top sides. If we did have any doubt this week, we won't next week."
Scotland failed to capitalise on some strong scrummaging displays close to the New Zealand try line, with Mike Blair dropping the ball when presented with a good chance. But De Luca, who was sent to the sin-bin early in the game, hopes a few breakthroughs can spark a flood of tries.
"It's the same with Edinburgh just now, we are creating a lot of chances, which is the big positive," he said. "But we are not finishing them off, which is frustrating. If we want to live with these teams, we have to address that and start crossing that whitewash.
"It could be as simple as getting into the habit of it and we go from there. We will look at the video and see how these opportunities were missed and we will address it this week going into the South Africa game."
All Blacks centre Richard Kahui, who notched their third of four tries seconds after the restart, was impressed with Scotland's attacking play. "They really had a go at us," he said. "At times our defence let us down, but our goal-line defence was superb. It's credit to the boys working hard on the line and being relentless and ruthless in not letting them cross.
"They were very physical and very tough at the breakdown. They took it to us and spun the ball wide a lot of times. They kind of played the complete game so it was a really good Test match to be part of. It was good to play some running rugby. It was good they played that sort of rugby as well as us, and it made for a good game."