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We can cause upset - Townsend

Gregor Townsend hopes Scotland's display against New Zealand was merely "a blip" and is confident Andy Robinson's men have the ability to defeat world champions South Africa in the second EMC Autumn Test at Murrayfield on Saturday.

On Tuesday afternoon South Africa named their team to face Scotland, who lost 49-3 to the All Blacks last Saturday, suffering a late blow with the withdrawal of wing Bryan Habana from the remainder of the tour of Britain and Ireland due to a broken hand sustained in training. They made a total of six changes to the team that beat Wales 29-25.

"We have to be defensively sound, we have to take our opportunities, but we beat Ireland away and we've beaten Argentina away in our last four games," said Scotland attack coach Townsend

"The New Zealand game we're looking at as a blip. We're hoping the players have learned a lot from that and we know our standards can't slip down to that level again or we'll be beaten by a number of teams, never mind South Africa.

"But we've got the players and we believe we've got the game to win on Saturday. It's very important for our players to get back to the way we were playing before New Zealand.

"When you play the best sides in the world you've really got to lay a marker down, you can't give any chances early or they'll take them and that's what happened against New Zealand. That first 10, 15 minutes is very, very, very important on Saturday."

Scotland are determined to bounce back from last Saturday's defeat in their first Test for five months and are aware of the size of the challenge posed by the Springboks.

Townsend, who spent a period playing Super rugby with the Natal Sharks towards the end of his own illustrious playing career and was a member of the victorious 1997 British and Irish Lions team which toured South Africa, added: "We know what's coming for us.

"But there will be opportunities if we work hard off the ball and we're clinical with our execution. It's obviously a blow for them to lose Bryan Habana at the last minute, but they put out their strongest team.

"It's great we're going to go up against the number two team in the world, the world champions, at full strength. They're going to threaten us, they seem very fit. They played well in the second half against Wales and took the game to Ireland right from the beginning."


From Belfast Telegraph