Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 2014

Ford wants 'technically smart' Scotland

Ross Ford has noted Samoa's team selection includes some big names

Scotland captain Ross Ford has challenged his side to show the technical skill to nullify Samoa's physical threat as they bid to complete a Southern Hemisphere clean sweep at Apia Park on Friday.

Scotland are bidding to round off a successful tour which has heralded victories over Australia and Fiji with a third win. The Samoans will pose a significant challenge, as they have a host of Europe-based star names and boast a huge front five which is clearly designed to win the set-piece battle to allow them to play an organised and controlled style of game.

"They are big, so that means that we have got to be technically smart," said Ford, who made no secret of his irritation at the way his side surrendered possession in the third quarter against Fiji.

"We are not going to stick any more meat on over the next couple of days so we have got to be quick and we have got to be technically very good on the day to compete against them.

"It is going to be a tough game. Samoa have got a lot of strengths, a lot of the European players are back now. It is a strong team that they are putting out. They are a lot more structured than Fiji, but still have the ability to break defences with their big men and good steppers.

"They will be very physical, so it will be a tough challenge, but it is one that the boys are looking forward to. A win would round the tour off well.

"Census Johnston plays for Toulouse and is a good scrummager, the Clermont boy [Tii Paulo] is hooker and the Wasps boy [Sakaria Taulafo] is at loosehead, they are big boys and good scrummagers, so we will have to be right up there to compete against them. It is going to be another tough day at the office."

The most significant addition to the Samoa side which won the Pacific Nations Cup last week is the return of Tusi Pisi, the team's main playmaker at fly half, who has flown in from New Zealand to join his countrymen.

It is a team that is being rebuilt after the World Cup. Only seven of the starting side were even in New Zealand, where Samoa matched Scotland's performance by finishing third in their group after two narrow defeats to higher ranked opponents, in their case Wales and South Africa.

Again, the team is led by David Lemi, the wing who will play for Worcester next season after a year at Glasgow.

Nightlife galleries

More

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre