Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby World Cup

Scotland aiming for the next level: Maitland

Feeling good: Sean Maitland
Feeling good: Sean Maitland

By Robert Jones

Scotland winger Sean Maitland knows they face another major challenge when they travel to Georgia after getting their World Cup preparations back on track.

Rugby round up Newsletter

Game previews, plus expert insights and exclusive commentary from the Belfast Telegraph sports team.

But Maitland feels turning the tables on France was a crucial step in building some momentum for Japan.

Scotland bounced back from a 32-3 defeat in Nice to beat France 17-14 at BT Murrayfield on Saturday with an almost entirely new line-up.

The away loss sparked pessimism from outside over their World Cup hopes and every player, whether they featured or not, felt the pain.

Maitland, who scored his 12th try in his 41st Scotland appearance, said: "We were hard on ourselves. We went to a few dark places last week and I thought the boys prepared outstandingly.

"I know it was a different 15, which was always going to happen, but to play at home in front of our fans and get the win and everyone involved was special.

"We know it's just the start, we know it's a stepping stone. Playing away from home, it's going to be another challenging game, I think it's 33 degrees in Georgia.

Sign In

"But whoever is selected, I'm sure the momentum is going to be with us and we just have to keep pushing each other."

Scotland conceded a try inside two minutes for the third game running and trailed by two tries before the half-hour mark, but tries from Maitland and Chris Harris and the kicking of Greig Laidlaw overturned the deficit.

And Maitland believes the nature of the victory was a major step forward.

"We have been in those positions before where we have fallen behind and not really come back," the Saracens player said. "But it was pleasing to get over the line and grind out a win."

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph