Scotland scrum and lineout problems are ‘very fixable’ insists Gregor Townsend

Gregor Townsend believes Scotland’s problems in the scrum and lineout are “very fixable” after South Africa’s pack came out on top in their 30-15 win at Murrayfield.

South Africa came out top in the scrum battle at BT Murrayfield. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

The head coach was impressed by his side’s first-half performance on Saturday - the Scots led 10-8 at the interval - and has vowed to work hard with the players to eradicate the set-piece shortcoming exposed in the second 40.

“Our scrum wasn’t good enough throughout the 80 minutes,” said Townsend.

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“In terms of lineout, the second half was disappointing because we had some innovative ways of getting the ball in the first half to provide us with some possession.”

Scotland's Jamie Ritchie and Eben Etzebeth of South Africa contest a lineout at Murrayfield. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Scotland lost three of their own lineouts and won only one of eight scrums. They also conceded 15 penalties to South Africa’s nine.

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Townsend believes he and his coaching staff can rectify the problems around scrum and lineout.

“[It’s] very fixable,” he said. “We get a chance over this campaign to play every week and work with our players and you’re going to get different pressure from different teams.

“The game is not just about you and what you can do with your game-plan, it’s about how you can react to what the opposition are doing, and in the second half the Springboks performed their roles really well and we didn’t.”

Scotland’s defeat by South Africa was their first in the Autumn Nations Series following victories over Tonga and Australia. Townsend’s side complete their campaign against Japan at Murrayfield on Saturday. Japan beat Portugal 38-25 at the weekend but lost 60-5 to Ireland the previous week.

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