Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Townsend: We can match Springboks

Gregor Townsend

Scotland take on South Africa in Saturday's second EMC Autumn Test, with the hosts seeking a major improvement in order to challenge the world champions.

Scotland suffered a 49-3 loss to New Zealand in their first international for five months last Saturday, but are confident they will improve on that display against the Springboks, who have beaten Ireland and Wales in the last two weeks, as they seek to claim a fourth win in five Tests at Murrayfield.

Scotland attack coach Gregor Townsend said: "We know what's coming for us. They're going to threaten us, they seem very fit. They played well in the second half against Wales and took the game to Ireland right from the beginning."

He added: "But there will be opportunities if we work hard off the ball and we're clinical with our execution.

"We have to be defensively sound, we have to take our opportunities, but we beat Ireland away and we've beaten Argentina away in our last four games.

"The New Zealand game we're looking at as a blip.

"We're hoping the players have learned a lot from that and we know our standards can't slip down to that level again or we'll be beaten by a number of teams, never mind South Africa."

South Africa named their team on Tuesday, showing four changes to the starting XV after the late withdrawal of wing Bryan Habana.

Habana has now been ruled out of the remainder of the tour after suffering a broken hand in training in Edinburgh on Tuesday.

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