Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Scotland warned against complacency

Scotland have been warned not to take Canada lightly when they play one another in Toronto on Saturday.

Dark Blues' defence coach Matt Taylor believes the home side will be hurting after throwing away a 25-9 half-time lead in last weekend' s defeat to Japan and will therefore be a threat to his side.

"We are lucky enough to know a lot of the team, in particular the wingers, very well," he said. "You have Taylor Paris on one wing who I coached when he was at Glasgow Warriors, and he is in very good form, scoring a brilliant length-of-the-field try.

"Then you have Jeff Hassler on the other wing who is at the Ospreys, so we know them both well, plus you have DTH (van der Merwe, Glasgow's leading try scorer) on the bench.

"Their back three are very potent and have been scoring some great tries. We have talked about shutting them down and having a good defensive scheme and have worked on it in training.

"The Canadians are similar to the Americans in that they are very athletic, very physical, very good at the conditioning part of the game and they have some explosive players so we will need to be on top of our game. They attack from anywhere on the pitch and kick less than any team we have seen.

"That can be a double-edged sword, if they are willing to run it from their half they will will put you under pressure but if they don't get it right then they can put themselves under pressure. We are up for the challenge."

The key aim for Scotland is to iron out the mistakes, in particular the suspect handling, that caused problems for them in the 24-6 win over the USA in their opening game of the tour.

On the other hand, it has been an easy week for travelling, so they have been able to train all through the week and Taylor believes that Cotter is starting to make an impression.

"Vern (Cotter) has brought a steely edge, he is a very intense guy and does not mix his words. If he thinks something has gone well he will tell you but if it has not he will tell you that too. That goes for both players and staff. That is good, it will bring a real edge to Scotland," he said.

Scotland have stuck as close as they can to the side that won on Houston, with the four changes in personnel all injury related - Grant Gilchrist and Peter Horne coming in for Jim Hamilton and Duncan Taylor, who have had to go home with their injuries.

Geoff Cross drops to the bench after a damaged rib stopped him training early in the week, swapping places with Moray Low, and Kelly Brown heads back into the side after recovering from injury.

Scotland: S Hogg; S Maitland; S Lamont; P Horne; T Visser; F Russell; G Laidlaw (C); G Reid; S Lawson; M Low; R Gray; G Gilchrist; A Strokosch; K Brown; J Beattie.

Replacements: K Bryce; K Traynor; G Cross; K Low; B Cowan; G Hart; R Jackson; M Evans.

Canada: J Pritchard; J Hassler; C Hearn; N Blevins; T Paris ; H Jones; P Mack; H Buydens; A Carpenter; J Marshall; T Hotson; J Cudmore; J Sinclair; T Ardron (C).

Replacements: R Barkwill; A Tiedemann; J Ilnicki: K Gilmour; J Phelan: G McRorie; C Braid; DTH van der Merwe.

Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)

How to Complain

If you have a complaint about the editorial content of the Belfast Telegraph or Sunday Life then contact the Editor here. If you are not satisfied with the response provided then you can contact the Independent Press Standards Organisation here

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph