Scotland ‘know they can improve’ after beating England in Six Nations opener
Forwards coach John Dalziel is excited about Scotland’s Six Nations hopes after beating England without being on top form on Saturday.
The Scots secured a hard-fought 20-17 Calcutta Cup victory at BT Murrayfield despite being outplayed for long periods of the game.
Gregor Townsend’s side were already highly anticipated to make an impact at this year’s tournament, and Saturday’s result only raised fans’ expectations ahead of this weekend’s trip to Wales.
And Dalziel draws confidence from the fact that they were able to beat one of the best teams in the world while playing far from their best.
“It was a special moment on Saturday, with a full Murrayfield singing and supporting the lads as they walked off the pitch, seeing them lift the Calcutta Cup,” he said.
“It’s special and they appreciated it, but in reality we didn’t play well. It was a pretty messy game.
“It’s exciting to know that we can still play a lot better. Looking at the statistics, being a team that usually dominates possession, we had to live on crumbs over the weekend. We had a great time together and we seized opportunities despite the weather.
“The players are very grounded. They know they can improve.
“The weekend game will have done us a lot of good because there were areas where we were second best, and that’s what’s exciting about growing in the competition.
“We can work on whatever was killing us and we can sort out some issues this weekend.
“Wales are one of the most formidable challenges so this gives us the opportunity to develop and grow as a team and take another step forward. We will have to be better against Wales this weekend. -end.
Scotland beat Wales behind closed doors at Llanelli in 2020 but have not won in Cardiff for 20 years.
Many expect that to change this weekend, with the Scots seemingly gaining the upper hand and the Welsh reeling from a heavy defeat in Ireland.
But Dalziel is categorical, the trip to the Principality stadium remains strewn with pitfalls.
“We’ve had some good results and they’re not exceptional results,” Dalziel said. “We are a team that believes we can take on any team and win, but the stats are not good – we haven’t won there since 2002.
“In terms of favourites, I’m not entirely sure about that. A full stadium with Wales playing their brand of rugby at home, we have to prove we can back up the results.
Asked why Scotland have struggled in Wales over the past few decades, Dalziel said: “Wales have been blessed with so many world-class players over the years.
“It’s been a miracle for them for 20 years when they’ve won the Six Nations consistently and they’ve had players playing brilliantly for them domestically at their clubs. And they get that extra man, like we do. let’s do at Murrayfield, with their crowd and the occasion.
“This stadium has a lot of memories for them, so we have to erase that, and maybe it’s something we haven’t been able to do before.
“These are the same guys we’ve played against domestically so we have to go out there and show that we’re not the Scotland of old who would win a week but not be able to go to tough places and to win.” .
“We have to prove it to everyone and to ourselves. I can see that being central to the guys’ motivation as we continue to build into the weekend.