EDINBURGH, Nov 10 (Reuters) - Coach Gregor Townsend was delighted with Scotland’s biggest points tally in 11 years as they crushed Fiji 54-17 at Murrayfield on Saturday but warned his side would have to step up their performance for next weekend’s visit of South Africa.
Scotland scored eight tries in the romp as they tore into the Fijian defence after halftime, with wing Tommy Seymour grabbing his first international hat-trick.
“Obviously delighted, Fiji were always going to be a tough opponent and we saw they could score from anywhere. We stuck to our task and got a grip of the game,” Townsend told BBC Scotland.
“To stick to what we felt was going to work was pleasing and the players built throughout the game, either through our defensive performance, where we kept them to zero points in the second half, or through our set-piece, where we mauled and scrummaged really well, and also through our phase play.”
Scotland’s forwards laid the platform for their success, especially in the first half when they were virtually camped on the Fiji line and forced repeated infringements from the islanders that saw them reduced to 13 players.
“We played a lot of rugby on their line and got two yellow cards (for Fiji) and a try disallowed that I can’t believe was disallowed.
“We kept on with that detailed approach around the set-piece which narrowed up the Fiji defence in the second half and allowed guys like Tommy Seymour and others to score tries.”
Townsend will hope the result breeds confidence in his side before the clash with the Springboks.
“South Africa are a better team than Fiji, they play Rugby Championship, are in the top five-six in the world and came close to doing the double over New Zealand,” he said.
“They bring different threats, they’re playing a traditional South African game which is very strong ball-carriers, huge set-piece, excellent defence, and they have players dotted around their team who can score tries out of nothing, like we saw when they took on New Zealand.
“We have to rise to that challenge of playing one of the best teams in the world but I believe this squad can do that.
“They’ve shown in the last couple of seasons that when the challenge gets bigger, we get better.” (Reporting By Nick Said; editing by Tony Lawrence)