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Scott relieved after victory

Matt Scott admitted he was relieved to see Scotland finally kick-start their 2015 campaign with a win - but insisted he was never worried the Dark Blues' eight-month losing streak would derail their World Cup bid.

The Scots finally put a win on the board following six straight defeats as they edged out Italy in Turin.

It was a drab affair played in stifling heat but Glasgow scrum-half Henry Pyrgos popped up at the right moment five minutes from time and finish off the only try of the match from a Scott pass.

The 16-12 Olympic Stadium triumph will now re-energise Vern Cotter's World Cup preparations as he gears his side up for their September 23 opener with Japan in Gloucester.

They face a return clash with the Azzurri at Murrayfield next Saturday, after which the head coach will trim his 47-man training squad back to 31. They will have one final run out against France in Paris on September 5 before turning their attention to their Pool B foes, who also include the United States, South Africa and Samoa.

The task for Scott and his colleagues now is to build some momentum ahead of the tournament but the Edinburgh centre said he would not have been left in a state of panic had his side not got the monkey off their back with victory over Jacques Brunel's men.

He said: "We're all definitely relieved to get back to winning ways. It was quite a scrappy game and we struggled a bit up front given that our discipline wasn't really that good. It's something we need to work on.

"But first and foremost it was good to get a win.

"We needed to get one on the board. That was our first one of the year and it wouldn't have been good going into the World Cup having played some good rugby but not won a game all year.

"So that is the main thing we will take from this game. It's just good to get that winning feeling back.

"The losing streak wasn't really playing on our minds though. We knew the Italy game was a real big opportunity for us, as was Ireland last week but we failed to get over the line.

"But I wouldn't say we were putting too much pressure on ourselves over it. We knew if we played to our game plan and executed it, the win would come."

The Turin Test gave Scott the chance to run out the rustiness from his legs after a shoulder injury ended his domestic season six weeks early.

The 24-year-old admitted he was almost running on empty as the game drew to a conclusion but had just enough left to slot Pyrgos in to seal the morale-boosting win.

"It was good to be get back into a starting line-up," he said. "The last game of rugby I started before Saturday was the final game of the Six Nations, so I was fairly tired tonight.

"It was tough conditions with the humidity and heat. I really felt it.

"But I'm hoping that having blown the cobwebs away tonight I will be fitter next week.

"I was out on my feet towards the end when I found myself wide. The first thing I looked for was someone to pass to but thankfully Henry is really good at making those support runs and I was able to pop it off to him for the try."


From Belfast Telegraph