Scots dedicate win to faithful fans
Sun, 10 Feb 2013 12:44
We had to do the dirty work and that is what we did
Scotland scrumhalf Greig Laidlaw dedicated the 34-10 Six Nations win over Italy on Saturday to Murrayfield's long-suffering, success-starved fans.
The Scots, who suffered a 38-18 drubbing at the hands of England at Twickenham last week, ran in four opportunistic tries from Tim Visser, Matt Scott, Stuart Hogg and Sean Lamont, with Laidlaw supplying the rest of the points from the boot.
Italy had stunned France 23-18 in Rome in their tournament opener, but on Saturday all they had to show was a late consolation try from Alessandro Zanni with Kris Burton adding the extras.
"It was an absolutely brilliant experience. We are so delighted, especially for the crowd who have stuck by us through the hard times," said Laidlaw.
"It has been a tough spell for everyone connected with the squad, but this one is definitely for them.
"Coach Scott Johnson had said all week that we had to do the dirty work if we were to get a win - and that is what we did."
Laidlaw added: "We had spoken about taking our emotions on to the field and to realise what it means to play for Scotland.
"The line speed was so much better, we stifled Italy and that enabled us to stay on the front foot.
"We have Ireland next in a couple of weeks - but we won't get carried away. We need to go away and fully understand why we won the way we did and make sure we build on it."
Johnson admitted he was "hugely proud" of his team.
"We had talked a lot about the contact aspect of our game and I liked our intent out there," he said.
"We were much more aggressive than we had been against England and we turned over a lot of ball."
But Johnson warned: "It will amount to nothing if we don't come back here and do it all over again when we play Ireland."
Italy's French coach Jacques Brunel was disappointed with his side's defending, a huge let down after last week's heroics in Rome against France.
"I think that's the price we pay to keep on growing," he said. "Today we certainly paid a high price.
"The Scots defended really well and there were many issues with our speed and defence throughout the game as well.
"We played in such an individual way, now we have two weeks to try to understand and come back for the Wales game."
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