McInally – time to get back on the horse
Scotland captain Stuart McInally and Assistant Coach Danny Wilson met the media at the national team’s eve-of-match press briefing yesterday, shortly after the team’s final training session in preparation for today’s vital Rugby World Cup Pool A match against Samoa in Kobe.
Defeat to Ireland set a must-win narrative for the remainder of the Scots’ campaign in motion, with Japan’s win over of Ireland tightening the pool further still.
Here’s what the coach and captain had to say 24 hours out from kick-off..
Captain Stuart McInally
On the conditions in the stadium after their captain’s run:
“It is pretty hot. With the roof over the stadium it certainly keeps the heat and moisture in. We didn’t do too much running around [yesterday], to save our legs, but we were certainly sweating.
“But we have been training in these conditions for a few weeks now so we are all used to it. The pitch and the conditions are the same for both teams. I don’t think it is going to be a massive issue.”
On moving on from defeat to face Samoa in Scotland round two Test:
“You just have to get back on the horse. We have worked hard and made sure our attention is on Samoa. That is the only thing that matters now.
“We just have to go and win the game, first and foremost. They are a good side, they put a lot of points on Russia (winning 34-9) and didn’t concede a try. We are very aware of their threat. If Japan can beat Ireland, then anybody can beat anybody, can’t they?”
Assistant Coach Danny Wilson
On what he is expecting Magnus Bradbury and Blade Thomson to bring to the back row:
“Both guys are hopefully going to bring a real attacking presence. Magnus, with his carrying game, is a big powerful guy and Blade has the ability to beat people, especially in the wider channels.
“So I think they’ll add a real attacking presence for us, especially for this opposition, and I think that’s the important point. You do select and create game plans based on the team you’re playing.
“Defensively I think both guys are really physical, which we’ll need. They’re pretty good over ball, and will hopefully allow us to slow down an opposition who, as we know, like to play a very fast and physical game.”
On whether there will be a change in strategy to get a winning bonus point:
“There’s three more games to play and there’s lots of permutations in terms of what will be needed. There’s also a lot of assumptions about what the results are going to be.
“We’re fully aware first and foremost just winning the games, whichever team we are playing.
“Early in the game our mindset will be about performing on both sides of the ball, to give ourselves an opportunity to put ourselves in the position to win the game, first and foremost.”