Scotland survive Samoa fightback at home

Nov 11, 2017 - 9:14 PM Scotland have plenty to work on ahead of next weekend's meeting with world champions New Zealand, coach Gregor Townsend said after his side held on for a 44-38 win over Samoa at Murrayfield

He said the Scots need to work on attack and defence after conceding five tries and letting a 22-point lead slip as the Pacific islanders came close to only a second ever win over them.

"We have got to make sure we don't give up possession in our half as cheaply and defend much better," Townsend said.

Stuart Hogg crossed inside 90 seconds for the first of six Scottish tries to set the foundation for home success and there were also five-pointers for Stuart McInally (two), Huw Jones, Alex Dunbar and substitute Pete Horne.

Samoa replied with five tries, four of them coming in a spirited second-half display as they gave the Scots a stiff examination.

The game was Scotland's first of three November internationals at Murrayfield, with much tougher challenges against the All Blacks and Wallabies to come over the next two Saturdays.

"We know how great a side the All Blacks are in attack and defence, so this first game is history now," Townsend said.

"We can move on to things we need to be better at next week to play at our best against the All Blacks."

Townsend said Scotland had been weak at dealing with the visitors' restarts and given away two cheap tries as a result.

"The restart is an aspect of the game. It's the third set-piece, so you've got to make sure you practise it," he said.

"Today it cost us, but another day it might be line-out or scrums. It's always something you look at.

"We'll have a look at our set-up and what we could do differently and make sure the players practise their roles of communication in getting up for the ball in the air."

But Townsend, who began his tenure as coach in mid-year, was pleased with the mauls, which led to two tries for hooker Stuart McInally.

"That was a strength of our game," the coach told reporters. "It does need a lot of work from the forwards and someone at the back to make sure the timing's right to score the tries.

"Stuart did very well outside of that aspect of the game - he carried strongly and his set-piece was a real positive, too."

Source: AAP

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