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Grant Gilchrist impressed by Scotland’s forward play

George Turner scored a hat-trick of tries in the comfortable victory.

Captain Grant Gilchrist hailed the impact of Scotland’s forwards that led them to a 48-10 win over Canada in Edmonton.

Six of the pack play together for Edinburgh and that cohesion was on display as the Scotland backline took time to settle but – despite the seven-try victory – there is still room for improvement for Gregor Townsend’s troops.

“It helps with cohesion in that pack,” Gilchrist said. “We mauled well from the get-go, we had them under pressure at scrum time, and that counts in these games, especially early on.

“It’s a good way of getting into the game. As they tired, our maul grew. When we maybe weren’t playing at our best, it was a way of scoring points and getting territory. It will be a weapon for us on this tour, but we’ll be better across the board as well.

“We play what we see on the pitch. When the maul’s going well we’re not going to start throwing the ball around. We’re going to go to what’s working, what’s getting us points.

“I thought the backs put some great plays together, especially late on, and they were getting us in good areas by forcing mistakes from Canada. Early in the second half the ball became greasy and that dictates the way you play as well.”

Gilchrist was impressed with the four players who came off the bench, with second-rower Lewis Carmichael scoring on his debut and replacement hooker George Turner claiming a hat-trick of tries.

“I thought all the first caps did exceptionally well but it’s a great feeling to score for Scotland and to play for Scotland, so I’m sure they’ll cherish it,” Gilchrist added.

“I wasn’t aware of George Turner’s hat-trick. That’s the hooker – Stuart McInally had two against Samoa, but he’s gone one better.”

However, it was not all rosy for the Scots as hooker Fraser Brown and winger Lee Jones left the field with injuries.

Brown was taken to hospital for a scan on a rib injury, while Jones hurt his knee and – although he did not go to hospital – he has been replaced in the squad by Dougie Fife.

Townsend also felt the bench had had a major impact in the way Scotland had closed out the game.

“The half-backs upped the pace of the game and took it to the opposition,” he said.

“Adam (Hastings) came on, got those passes from the forwards and had a go at the defence, Ali Price added pace to the game, Lewis Carmichael had a brilliant impact and George Turner had three tries.  That was pleasing.

“There was a lot of hard work that maybe did not lead to points but did maybe lead to tiring the opposition and also to getting a collection of penalties for those mauls we could go to time and time again.”

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