Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Jackson knows Scots must improve

Scotland stand-off Ruaridh Jackson admits they will have to hit the ground running against South Africa on Sunday after getting a fright against Japan in their first viagogo Autumn Test.

Scotland struggled to get into a rhythm for much of the first half of the clash with Japan on a heavy Murrayfield pitch which has been hit by a worm infestation.

Their 11-3 half-time lead was cut to one point within three minutes after Kenki Fukuoka crossed for the first of two quickfire tries.

Scotland hit back almost immediately both times before taking advantage of two yellow cards in the final quarter to grab three more tries and claim a 42-17 victory.

And Jackson knows they will have to step up a gear from the start against the Springboks, who overturned an 11-point deficit to beat Scotland 30-17 in June.

"It was a solid start," the Glasgow number 10 told Press Association Sport.

"It was our first game so there is maybe going to be a bit of rust. They came at us pretty hard, especially at the start of the second half, but once we ironed out a few problems we played some really good stuff and scored some great tries.

"To get six tries is a great achievement but there are definitely things we need to work on. We gave them two relatively soft tries. We reacted well from that but we want to play that rugby from the off and not wait until the final half-hour.

"We maybe came out a bit flat at the start of the second half and they gave us a bit of a shock. We reacted well to it but we need to be at a higher level when we come out.

"It was always going to be tough and they are a really good team. They play some really good rugby and they put us under a lot of pressure. For long periods our defence held out but the two soft tries were a shame.

"But it puts us in a good position. There are things to work on and there are positives, so we are in a pretty good place right now."

Two major positives for head coach Scott Johnson were the home-debut performances of Jackson's Glasgow team-mates, Tim Swinson and Tommy Seymour.

Seymour claimed two tries, both set up by Jackson, and lock Swinson was named man of the match.

"The two guys came in during the summer and they have been performing really well for Glasgow as well.

"It was nice for Tommy to get two tries, it's always a winger's favourite thing to do.

"And 'Swinno' was pretty monumental up front, putting in big hits and a great shift so it was great for him to get merited with man of the match.

"It's always nice to get a couple of assists, that's one of my major roles as a 10 so it was nice to put a couple of boys in for tries."

Meanwhile, Jackson dismissed concerns over the pitch ahead of Sunday's Test.

"It's a pretty heavy pitch and it's cutting up a fair bit," he said.

"I feel more sorry for the forwards scrummaging than the backs, although it was a bit tricky for the old side-stepping.

"It's the same for both teams though and we just need to deal with it and move on."


From Belfast Telegraph