Scotland success excites Maitland

Wed, 27 Feb 2013 07:48
Large sean maitland scotland runs Large scott johnson h s Large sean maitland scotland jump

New Zealand-born Scotland wing Sean Maitland believes last week's Six Nations win over Ireland could be the start of a new era for the side.

New Zealand-born Scotland wing Sean Maitland believes last week's Six Nations win over Ireland could be the start of a new era for a side under the caretaker charge of Australian coach Scott Johnson.

Sunday's gutsy 12-8 win at Murrayfield followed a victory over Italy and saw Scotland enjoying back-to-back Six Nations successes for the first time since 2001.

It also left Scotland level on four points with second-placed Wales in the table, and just two behind leaders England.

"It's a pretty great feeling," said Maitland, drafted in by Johnson this season. "This is just the start for our team."

Scotland's defeat of Ireland was a triumph of team spirit, with the Irish dominating more than 70 percent and territory and scoring the only try of the match through wing Craig Gilroy.

But they failed to kill the game off and Scotland, from 0-8 down early in the second half, saw their forwards provide a platform for scrumhalf Greig Laidlaw to kick them into a winning position with four penalties.

Ireland did have one final chance to salvage a win but with 80 minutes up and in the last play of the game, debutant centre Luke Marshall knocked in sight of Scotland's try-line.

"I was really scared," said Maitland. "I thought they were going to get in for a try. But to hold out and show our courage on defence was very pleasing.

"It just shows the character of the men in this side."

Meanwhile Scotland prop Ryan Grant hailed Johnson's decision to move Laidlaw back to his more familiar position of scrumhalf.

Laidlaw has been playing at flyhalf for much of the season with club side Edinburgh but, following the Test retirement of former Scotland No.9 Mike Blair, Johnson installed him at scrumhalf.

And the way Laidlaw, the nephew of Scotland scrumhalf great Roy Laidlaw, directed his pack as well as dictating play when his side did get their hands on the ball, suggested Johnson had made a smart call.

"Greig is a class, class player. He is great with the boot and a great marshal of the pack," said Grant.

"That's why he's perfect for the nine role. He speaks to the forwards and lets us know where we need to be. He does the same with the backs and has got a great understanding with them."

Wales assistant coach Neil Jenkins, whose side saw off Italy 26-9 in Rome last weekend, refused to entertain talk of a March 16 Cardiff title shoot-out against Grand Slam-chasers England on the final day of the championship.

Instead the former Wales flyhalf, who helped wreck England's bid for a Grand Slam when he kicked the winning conversion in a 32-31 win at Wembley in 1999, said the team would not take Scotland lightly when they faced the resurgent hosts at Murrayfield on March 9.

"They [Scotland] are the same as us - two wins out of three - and it is a home game for them," said Jenkins.

"They will fancy their chances against us and then to go to Paris on the final day with a chance of maybe them winning the championship.

"It was an excellent win for them on the weekend against Ireland. People talked afterwards about stats and possession, but if you have got the ball you have got to take your chances.

"Ireland didn't take their opportunities on Sunday, and Scotland kept hanging in there, dug in and kicked their kicks."


There are currently no matches being played
Sat, 10 October 2015
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 12h00 Bloemfontein
Samoa v Scotland 13h30 Newcastle
Golden Lions v Griquas 14h00 Ellis Park
Australia v Wales 15h45 London
England v Uruguay 19h00 Manchester
Sun, 11 October 2015
Argentina v Namibia 11h00 Leicester
Italy v Romania 13h30 Exeter
France v Ireland 15h45 Cardiff
United States v Japan 19h00 Gloucester
Fri, 16 October 2015
Blue Bulls v Western Province 17h00 Pretoria
Connacht v Zebre 18h30 Sportsground
Glasgow Warriors v Dragons 18h35 Scotstoun
Scarlets v Leinster 18h35 Parc y Scarlets
Edinburgh v Ulster 18h45 BT Murrayfield
Fri, 09 October 2015
New Zealand v Tonga 47 | 9
Western Province v EP Kings 45 | 14
Pumas v Blue Bulls 24 | 25
Wed, 07 October 2015
Namibia v Georgia 16 | 17
South Africa v United States 64 | 0
Tue, 06 October 2015
Fiji v Uruguay 47 | 15
Canada v Romania 15 | 17
Sun, 04 October 2015
Ireland v Italy 16 | 9
Argentina v Tonga 45 | 16
Zebre v Scarlets 8 | 20
Sat, 03 October 2015
England v Australia 13 | 33
Connacht v Cardiff Blues 36 | 31
South Africa v Scotland 34 | 16
Samoa v Japan 5 | 26
Leinster v Dragons 37 | 13
Team P W D L Pts
Ireland 5 4 0 1 8
England 5 4 0 1 8
Wales 5 4 0 1 8
France 5 2 0 3 4
Italy 5 1 0 4 2
Scotland 5 0 0 5 0