Scotland must build on Springboks’ victory

Scotland will be forced to follow up their victory over World Champions South Africa without Scott MacLeod after he was ruled out of the remaining Autumn International.

MacLeod made his first start in over two years but the the 31-year-old had to leave the field in the first half and he will miss next weekend’s clash against Samoa in Aberdeen.

Attack coach says that Scotland must follow up their gritty win over South Africa with another win over physical Samoa.

Scotland got some relief from the embaressing loss to New Zealand by rolling over the world champions 21-17 in Edinburgh.

“A year ago we beat Australia but we didn’t back it up, the following week, so that’s our focus,” said Townsend.

“We’ve got Samoa next and we know they are tough. We need to go into the Six Nations with back-to-back wins.”

The star of the day for Scotland was Dan Parks with six penalties and a drop goal as the Springboks struggled in the cold and wet.

Scotland have improved under former England coach Andy Robinson and have won four of their last five matches and Townsend says they are heading in the right direction.

“Three of those wins were away from home, in Ireland and Argentina (twice),” he explained to BBC Radio 5 live’s Sportsweek.

“And that takes character. There’s a real togetherness in the squad.”

Townsend said that after the loss to New Zealand there had been much soul-searching and that he was delighted with the response of the players.

“At the beginning of the week, we showed them areas we were very disappointed with and the players were as well. They knew their performance against New Zealand was nowhere near good enough for what is required at international level.

“Then you aim to build the players’ confidence, stressing why they’ve been picked and the strengths they bring.

“We did the team review with everyone present and that was a painful viewing experience. But also you meet with individuals during the week.

“We knew we were a much better side than our performance against the All Blacks suggested. You make one or two errors against them and it’s 7, 14, 21 points and the game is gone.

“We defended much better this time and got our tactics spot on. We made it very difficult for South Africa.

“If you get things right, on any given day, then you can upset the form guide.”

While the Springbok kickers could nort find their aim Parks was at his best and took every opportunity to add points for the home side.

Parks said that he too was thrilled at the way Scotland bounced back from a below par performance.

“The meeting on Monday was very unpleasant. But that has to happen sometimes when you play poorly,” said the influential stand-off.

“It was a quiet start to the week, there were a lot of heads down and a few of us said ‘what’s done is done, we have to lift our heads and look forward to the battle’.

“In response to that we did really well and the boys came on to a good game.

“It was about sticking in there, making the tackles and building the points.

“It was very important for us to come back because we had been so humiliated by the New Zealanders. They were fantastic and we only showed up in patches.

“We had to make that right and the conditions suited us in many ways. We were able to play a tactical kicking game and rely on our defence.

“At the end of the day, our defence held up. There was only one try in the match and we were lucky enough to get points on the board throughout the game, to give us that cushion.”

South Africa took the lead early on but Parks got them back into the game.

“We gradually clawed our way back into it and then held on once we got in front,” added Parks.

“It’s a fantastic achievement against the number two side in the world.

“We’re always looking

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