Rebuked Scotland get there in the end
Stuart Hogg admits it took a half-time informing off from Gregor Townsend for Scotland to come out fired-up in Florence. The Scots made it 5 straight wins for only the second time in the professional era as they opened their Fall Nations Cup project with a 28-17 win over Italy.
However for an hour that run looked under severe danger from the Azzurri at the Artemio Franchi Stadium. Matteo Minozzi’s stunning shot capped off a fantastic first-half display from Franco Smith’s side however the video game swung in Scotland’s favour after Townsend told his team they were not striving enough to stop their hosts controling the breakdown.
Italian points dried up after the break and the visitors – who got the afternoon’s opening attempt through Duhan Van Der Merwe – had the ability to see out success with more ratings from Zander Fagerson, Scott Cummings and George Turner.
But Hogg was stung by his coach’s interval rebuke and the skipper exposed warned his teammates that must be the last time they allow their commitment levels to be cast doubt on.
” We didn’t really turn up for the very first half,” he said. “It was a bit frustrating however we arrived in the end, which we’re chuffed to bits with. Gregor discussed the truth we weren’t working hard enough (at half-time) and as players that harms us. I was quite frustrated that Gregor had to say that. It gave us the kick up the backside we required. I said to the young boys at half-time that no one questions our workrate or our physicality once again. We turned that around in the 2nd half and got the result.”
Townsend may have had to utilize the hairdryer treatment at the break however he had lots of praise for the method his group turned the video game around.
” I make certain the belief helped the togetherness of the group,” said the coach, who will now seek to become the very first Scottish manager in thirty years to mastermind six successive wins when they host France next weekend.
” Was it a ragged win? Yeah that’s most likely best however that appears to be the case a lot when we come over to Italy.”
It was an eventful afternoon for Duncan Weir on his first start for the national group in four years. The Worcester Warrior, standing in for hurt stand-offs Finn Russell and Adam Hastings, was flattened in the accumulation to Minozzi’s impressive group shot and had a score disallowed after a Sam Johnson forward pass.
However he did play a vital function in Fagerson’s goal with a number of brave, flat passes and likewise kicked 8 points at the scene of boyhood heroes Rangers’ 2008 Uefa Cup semi-final triumph over Fiorentina.