Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Trio's experience crucial for Scots

Three of the present Scotland squad have tasted victory over South Africa, providing a dose of confidence after last week's morale-battering loss to New Zealand.

Scotland will be hoping to bounce back from last week's 49-3 defeat against the All Blacks with a win over the Springboks, although it is eight years since they last celebrated victory over the world champions at Murrayfield. Nathan Hines, Chris Paterson and Nikki Walker played in that game, with wing Walker scoring one of his four Scotland tries.

"I've had more success against South Africa than against New Zealand and probably any southern hemisphere team, so that's a big boost for us," said Hines. "We've had our confidence knocked a bit from last weekend, but you've got to be optimistic and confident that we can do better than we did last week."

He added: "That's the thing we've got to do this week - go out there and play the way we should've played last week and then I think we'll be much, much happier."

Leinster's Hines, who will line up at blindside flanker in one of four changes to Scotland's starting XV for Saturday's clash, knows what to expect from the Springboks.

He said: "It was difficult last week - they attacked from everywhere - but I think South Africa are a little more straightforward.

"They're a big powerful bunch of guys. They come straight at you and it's up to you to step up and make the hit and try and stop them going forward.

"It's not a complicated game plan but it doesn't make it easy."


From Belfast Telegraph