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AB Zondagh on Scotland: 'A lot's been said'

By PA
Duhan van der Merwe (L), and Jamie Ritchie (C), of Scotland with attack coach A B Zondagh (R), (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

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Assistant coach AB Zondagh insists Scotland must banish any lingering negativity from their defeat in Wales and focus fully on getting their Guinness Six Nations campaign back on track against France at BT Murrayfield this weekend.

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The Scots – who beat England in the first match – had the wind taken out of their sails when they lost 20-17 at the Principality Stadium on February 12.

Zondagh believes the players are relishing the chance to make amends for the Cardiff disappointment when the in-form French visit Edinburgh this Saturday.

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“A lot’s been said, it was a disappointing result for us,” said Zondagh of the Welsh defeat. “We went down there really believing that we could win.

“Again, the margins were really fine. We had a good hard look at ourselves, we’ve learned from that and moved on. We’re pushing on to the France game now and focusing all our energies into that.

“The boys are working really hard to get into good positions and create opportunities. There are fine margins, with the ball going to hand, a try being scored or a ball being turned over.

“The boys worked hard in the Wales game but some things just didn’t go our way. We know we will improve going into this France game.”

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Zondagh is expecting a formidable challenge from France, who are the only side to win both matches so far.

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“France are a very good team – they’ve beaten New Zealand, Ireland and Italy,” he said. “They could be considered the best team (in the tournament) at the moment, so it’s going to be a tough challenge.

“We’re going to have to pitch up and concentrate for 80 minutes, but we’re preparing to face up to the challenge.”

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Scotland beat France in Paris behind closed doors last year and have won each of the last three Six Nations meetings between the teams at Murrayfield.

“I don’t think we can read too much into the past, to be fair,” said Zondagh. “France have evolved as a team and we’ve changed ourselves as a team.

“It’s a new task in hand and it’s going to be a different game. We just have to be prepared for the challenge.”

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