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."

AFP

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 25 February 2017
Saracens v Sale Sharks 12h45 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Newcastle Falcons 13h00 Sandy Park
Sun, 26 February 2017
Bristol v Bath 11h00 Ashton Gate
Wasps v Gloucester 12h30 Ricoh Arena
Treviso v Connacht 12h30 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Zebre v Ulster 12h30 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 13h05 Liberty Stadium
England v Italy 15h00 Twickenham Stadium
Mon, 27 February 2017
UCT-Ikeys v Maties 14h45 Cape Town
Rhodes v Fort Hare 16h30 Grahamstown
UWC v TUT 16h30 Cape Town
CPUT v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Cape Town
UP-Tuks v Wits 16h30 Pretoria
CUT-Ixias v UJ 16h30 Bloemfontein
Shimlas v NWU-Pukke 17h00 Bloemfontein
Thu, 02 March 2017
Force v Reds 10h30 Perth
Fri, 03 March 2017
Chiefs v Blues 06h35 Hamilton
Ulster v Treviso 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Connacht v Zebre 19h35 Ascoli Piceno
Edinburgh v Ospreys 19h35 Myreside
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 20h15 AJ Bell Stadium
Sat, 04 March 2017
Hurricanes v Rebels 04h15 Wellington
Highlanders v Crusaders 06h45 Dunedin
Brumbies v Sharks 08h45 Canberra
Sunwolves v Kings 10h55 Singapore
Lions v Waratahs 13h05 Johannesburg
Glasgow Warriors v Dragons 15h00 Scotstoun Stadium
Worcester Warriors v Bristol 15h00 Sixways
Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs 15h00 Welford Road
Gloucester v Harlequins 15h00 Kingsholm
Bath v Wasps 15h00 Recreation Ground
Stormers v Jaguares 15h15 Cape Town
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 25 February 2017
Kings v Jaguares 26 | 39
Scotland v Wales 29 | 13
Cheetahs v Lions 25 | 28
Waratahs v Force 19 | 13
Crusaders v Brumbies 17 | 13
Sunwolves v Hurricanes 17 | 83
Fri, 24 February 2017
Munster v Scarlets 21 | 30
Dragons v Leinster 22 | 54
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues 17 | 18
Harlequins v Leicester Tigers 18 | 27
Reds v Sharks 28 | 26
Highlanders v Chiefs 15 | 24
Thu, 23 February 2017
Rebels v Blues 18 | 56
Tue, 21 February 2017
CUT-Ixias v Shimlas 13 | 22
Mon, 20 February 2017
UJ v UP-Tuks 18 | 11
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Scotland 3 2 0 1 9
England 2 2 0 0 8
Ireland 2 1 0 1 6
Wales 3 1 0 2 5
France 2 1 0 1 5
Italy 2 0 0 2 0