Southwell: Scotland Can Learn From Munster Defeat

ImageHugo Southwell believes the lessons Edinburgh learnt from the home defeat at the hands of Munster on Friday can be put to good use when Scotland travel to face Ireland in Dublin when the RBS 6 Nations championship resumes next weekend.

Edinburgh's winning streak came to abrupt halt at The Castle when a second half try from Donnacha Ryan handed the former Heineken Cup winners a narrow 11-7 victory.

But full-back Southwell, who produced an efficient display before being replaced on 78 minutes, says Scotland will now be even more prepared for Ireland's tactics; because it is similar to the strategy employed by Munster.

Southwell said: "I think the main thing we can take from the game is the way Munster played in the second half is very similar to the way the Irish will try to play, with (Ronan) O"Gara at 10, at the weekend.

'they will try to bully us up front and get over the gain line at first and second phases. If they get quick ball then they will look to attack.

"But if not they will look to put it into the corners and, with O"Gara's kicking game, that could be pretty dangerous.

"But if we can try to stop them at source; like we did for large periods of the game last night. Then we should be able to stem the flow.

"As far as our game is concerned, we really need to take it to them and hopefully we can do it a bit better than we did on Friday and contribute to a good win in Ireland."

Despite the result, Southwell admits he was proud of the work ethic shown by his team-mates, but says the players realised that their final execution of moves was off-key.

He added: 'the attitude of the guys was clear for everyone to see; we put in a massive effort over the 80 minutes.

"Maybe the frustrating thing was that, after having not played together for a while, there were some signs of rustiness. So, as much as we tried, we weren't clinical enough in the important areas.

"We turned over a quite a bit of ball in their third, but couldn't quite capitalise in the first half especially on the opportunities we had. In the second half, it was a slightly different story because we struggled to gain as much territory as we would have liked. They played a lot tighter and made it quite difficult for us."

After struggling with an ankle injury, Southwell believes he is finally getting back to his best and revealed he has been working with Edinburgh head coach Andy Robinson in a bid to sharpen up his kicking game.

He said: "I was very happy with the way I played. I have been working this week with Andy on my kicking.

"I had been kicking it and it had been going where I wanted it to go, but I hadn't been striking it as well as I know I can.

"But on Friday night that went a lot better, so I was very pleased with that. I also got a lot more ball in hand and really had a go at the line; that was pleasing. I was happy with my own performance, but ultimately I would have swapped that for a win."