Huw Jones urges Scotland to rise to ‘massive test’ against Ireland in Dublin
Scotland’s home form is good, but now they must take it on the road.
Scotland’s match-winner Huw Jones has called for a improvement in away form if they are to mount a serious bid for the NatWest 6 Nations.
A gripping 25-13 win over England on Saturday saw Scotland lift the Calcutta Cup for the first time in a decade but more importantly kept them alive in this year’s tournament.
A lot was expected of Scotland in the lead-up to the Six Nations, with many tipping them as potential dark horses before an opening-round defeat in Wales tempered the optimism that had been around the camp following a superb autumn.
They showed character to come back and beat France at BT Murrayfield, and backed that up against England thanks to two tries from the in-form Jones, whose record in a Scotland shirt is now an impressive 10 tries in 14 games.
However, they face a daunting trip to play Ireland in Dublin in two weeks when they have to win to maintain their outside hope of lifting the title.
“This game is obviously a massive confidence booster,” Jones said. “We’re under no illusions, we’ve got a really tough away game.
“We’ve turned Murrayfield into a bit of a fortress now. I think in our last nine games we’ve lost one and that was a real close one (against New Zealand).
“If we’re going to become a really great team we’re going to have to start winning away, which we haven’t really done for a while.
“That next game is a massive test and that’s what we’re thinking about now.”
Despite the hugely impressive showing against England, Jones admitted Scotland need to improve again if they are to claim points in Ireland.
He said: “A lot of people will say England maybe didn’t have their best game and if Ireland have their best game it will be a much tougher game.
“They’ll have the home crowd, they’ll have the sort of lift that we got today from our supporters.
“Going over there, whatever we did today we’ll have to up that performance.”
Aside from keeping Scotland’s hopes alive in this season’s tournament, the win against England will also provide peace of mind to several members of the squad who suffered humiliation at Twickenham last year.
An in-form side suffered a 61-21 thrashing last March, and there were emotional celebrations on the pitch as the Scots gained revenge with their first win over England since 2008.
Jones said: “You could see before the game how much it meant to the guys that have been around for a while, Barcs (John Barclay) and Greig (Laidlaw).
“You could see the motivation they were trying to instil in everyone else and it paid off.
“To see their faces after the game and how much it meant to them… it means the world to all of us, but those guys that have been around for a while and had some not so good times in a Scotland shirt, it’s massive for them.”