Six Nations: Johnson enjoys win, but more is needed
A week is a long time in sport. Scotland bounced back from defeat at Twickenham to record their biggest-ever Six Nations win, racking up 34 points against a stuffy Italian side which had beaten France last time out.
And the win was Scotland’s first for six matches after being whitewashed last season.
It needed a moment of brilliance from full-back Stuart Hogg to nail down the victory when, early in the second half, the Scots had a healthy 20-3 lead but the visitors seemed certain to score. Hogg intercepted an Italian pass and sprinted almost the length of the field to score what will surely be the try of the tournament. Interim Scotland coach Scott Johnson picked out the score as the turning point of the match.
“We did really well in defence for most of the game and there was a really key moment when Hoggy took it from one end of the field to the other and that’s a 14-point turnaround but what occurred before that was disappointing. That scoreboard can switch quickly. I keep saying that if we’re getting our part right we can put teams away because we’ve got a potent backline and we’ve got ability to put sides away.
“But we’ve still got to do our work. We’ve got to acknowledge that we’ve got to keep improving. We’re in a tournament here. And today’s result puts us right in it. Acknowledge the good, enjoy the good but come back and start again.”
The Australian, pictured, didn’t want to single out any individual for special praise but he felt compelled to mention loosehead prop Ryan Grant who had played on despite an injury to his side/hip and had to be almost physically hauled from the field around the one-hour mark.
“Ryan Grant was in a lot of pain very early in the game,” said his coach. “And he toughed it out against a really formidable pack. It just says so much about the person. He didn’t want to come off and not only did he not want to come off but he did his job.”
Scotland skipper Kelly Brown was another of the standout Scots. The flanker was immense, leading the charge and putting his body on the line time and again. He summed up the spirit within this squad.
“We felt last week that they won all the one-on-ones but I felt that out there we fought and grafted and my over-riding emotion is probably one of pride. All I can ask of my team is that they always work and fight and I thought they did exactly that today.”
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 17 C
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Wind direction: West
Temperature: 8 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: West