REACTION | Townsend: "I'm delighted with the performance."
Scotland Head Coach Gregor Townsend lauded his side’s performance as they ran in eight tries – capping off an exhilarating second-half showing in which they kept the visitors scoreless - to secure their biggest ever win against Fiji.
“I’m obviously delighted. Fiji were always going to be a tough opponent and we saw with their tries in the first-half that they could score from anywhere,” said Townsend.
“But we stuck to our task, got a grip of the game and kept to what we believed would work against Fiji – which was really pleasing to see.
“Defensively, we kept them to zero points in the second-half. Whilst I thought our set-piece was excellent too as we scrummed and mauled really well. It’s good that we got that improvement throughout the game.”
Despite trailing Fiji 17-14 late in the second-half, Scotland kept to their guns and eventually went into the break with a narrow lead as Seymour crossed the whitewash on 40 minutes.
And Townsend heaped praise on his side’s mind set as they dragged themselves back into the contest throughout a back-and-forth first-half time and time again.
“The scoreboard is obviously a marker of how the game is going, but I felt that we had the upper hand in the first-half.”
“They had two yellow cards to close the half-half and we were playing a lot of rugby on their line. We still created a lot of pressure, even though Fiji were leading.
“We kept up our detailed approach in around set-piece, which narrowed the pitch allowing guys like Tommy Seymour and Sean Maitland to get their tries out wide.”
Although it was Seymour who lit the game alight with his hat-trick of tries, it was debutant Sam Skinner who ultimately walked away as the Tennent’s Man of the Match.
The second-row was a livewire throughout the 80 minutes which left Townsend delighted come the full-time whistle.
“It’s great that his [Skinner] first game was a winning performance and I thought he did really well. The way he plays for his club and his style of play suits what we’re trying to do. He’s a decision maker, whilst he can really get around the park which obviously helps.”
With a historic win in the bag, Scotland now must prepare to face a star-studded South African side at BT Murrayfield next Saturday evening.
Rassie Erasmus’ outift come into next weekend’s match off the back of an impressive Rugby Championship which saw the Southern Hemisphere team secure a famous 36-34 win over the All Blacks.
“South Africa are a different team to Fiji. They play in the Rugby Championship and are a top five team in the world.
“A few months ago, they came close to doing the double over New Zealand, so that shows you their quality. They bring different threats. They bring a traditional South African style, which is: strong ball carriers, huge set-piece and an excellent defence. Whilst they have players dotted around the team who can score from anywhere.
“They’re a quality side and we’ll have to be much better again. We have to rise up to the challenge of taking on one of the best teams in the world, but I believe that this squad can do that.