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Scots can't afford another slip: Maitland

By will jackson

Scotland winger Sean Maitland admits Sunday's NatWest 6 Nations clash with France is a "must-win" game for both sides.

The Dark Blues' hopes of clinching a first championship title since 1999 suffered a blow in the form of an humiliating 34-7 defeat to Wales, while France lost out to a last-minute drop-goal in their opener against Ireland.

The nature of Scotland's defeat has seen all optimism from outside the camp extinguished after they conceded four tries, and a further loss would all but end their chances of making history after such a promising start to life under Gregor Townsend.

Maitland, who is expected to replace the injured Byron McGuigan, is aware they need a result against a France side who may well be low on confidence themselves.

He said: "They were very unlucky. If you take a spanking or lose like that, I'm not sure how you'd like to lose - those boys looked like they were hurting after the game.

"They're in a similar situation to us, both picked up losses first up and we can't afford to lose a second game."

He added: "We know this is a really important game. The good thing for us is we're playing at home, our form over the last two years has been really good playing at home. It's a must-win game."

McGuigan's injury means Maitland is poised to step in to reclaim his spot, but he has welcomes the competition in the squad.

"It's a shame what happened to Byron with his hamstring, but there's still a lot more competition with Lee Jones who played really well against the All Blacks. You need that to drive yourself."

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