Inside the Scotland camp: four days from Samoa
Finn Russell, Jamie Ritchie and Matt Taylor talk about turning their attention towards a vital round two Test against Samoa.
On delivering an improved performance:
“I think the players this week will be mentally and physically in the right place. We know what we’ve got to do and I believe we will come out with some fire in the belly.
“Samoa, Fiji, Tonga and the All Blacks are all very physical sides. It will be a tough game for us. Mentally we have to front up for these big shots coming at us and impose ourselves – in defence especially – against these big Samoan boys.
“Samoa, Fiji, Tonga and the All Blacks are all very physical sides. It will be a tough game for us. Mentally we have to front up for these big shots coming at us and impose ourselves – in defence especially – against these big Samoan boys.”
On whether they should harness the anger and frustration for the Samoa Test:
“The frustration a couple of days after the game was definitely there but I think we have to put that behind us and move on. If we try and play and win on frustration and anger, it’s not going to happen.
“We need to stick to our structure, stick to what we do. We’re not going to beat them on frustration and anger. That’s not how you win international Test matches.”
Matt Taylor – Assistant Coach
On the challenge of lifting players after an opening round defeat:
“We were pretty brutally honest with the review. We said that part’s gone, we can’t get it back. We’ve focused on training. We’ve got to make the few days count, do everything we can to be prepared (for Samoa) and front up on the day.
On the problems Samoa present for a defence coach:
“It gives us lots of challenges. They play with a lot of width and they are big explosive athletes so we have to make sure we get up with our line speed and knock them over.”
On whether he was concerned he would miss the World Cup after getting injured in the final warm-up game against Georgia:
“I was pretty worried I might be out for a few weeks. They would have to take somebody else and that would be my chance at this World Cup gone. That was what was going through my head.
“I didn’t know if I was going to make it or not but then some pretty positive news came from my scan. I was a bit delayed coming to Japan, and it was unfortunate to miss the first game, but I am here now and ready to go.”
On his sympathy for Hamish Watson and Ali Price, who have been forced to return home:
“I feel for them. I can imagine what they are feeling having felt a bit of it before. For them it is real and for me it was before the World Cup, not during it. I really do feel for them but I am relishing the opportunity to play.”