Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Maitland expecting bigger things

Sean Maitland praised Scotland's character following their historic win over Ireland
Sean Maitland praised Scotland's character following their historic win over Ireland

Scotland wing Sean Maitland feels their RBS 6 Nations victory over Ireland at Murrayfield could be the start of the something special for the team.

Sunday's 12-8 triumph was Scotland's first over Ireland on home soil in the competition since 2001 and left the Dark Blues level on four points with second-placed Wales in the table, two behind leaders England. And a delighted Maitland hopes the victory will lead to even greater success in the future.

He said: "It's a pretty great feeling. When you get a win like that, especially talking to the older boys who have played Ireland in the past and know it's hard to get a win against such a quality side, it makes it one to savour. This is just the start for our team."

Maitland also hailed his side's character and defensive qualities after they withstood a late Ireland surge to claim victory.

Greig Laidlaw had kicked the Scots in front after the Irish, despite dominating the opening 40 minutes with almost 80 per cent of the ball possession, had mustered only a Paddy Jackson penalty and Craig Gilroy`s second-half try.

But with just seconds remaining, Scotland conceded a late penalty deep in their own half. Ireland had the chance to switch the ball wide but when Luke Marshall knocked on with the 80 minutes up, only then could the Scots celebrate a second successive Six Nations triumph.

For New Zealand-born Glasgow back Maitland, though, it was too close for comfort.

He said: "I was very, very happy that last minute where the scrum turned and I was out on the wing. I was really scared. I thought they were going to get in for a try. But to hold out and show our courage on defence was very pleasing. It just shows the character of the men in this side."

Maitland was lured from his homeland to add pace to the Scotland attack but his duties on Sunday were mostly aimed at holding the Irish at bay.

He added: "I didn't get too many opportunities out there. When I got the ball in hand, or in defence, I just tried to do my best with kick, chase and try to disrupt them. Yeah it was one of those games where you don't get to see the ball, but our defence was absolutely outstanding."

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