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'Obviously you have to take into account the red card' - Townsend

By Peter Hanson
Scotland coach Gregor Townsend

Gregor Townsend acknowledged that a red card for Australia’s Sekope Kepu changed the dynamic of the game, but hailed the mentality in Scotland’s ranks following a record-breaking win at Murrayfield.

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The hosts ran in eight tries to triumph 53-24 and round out their November internationals in style, but it was a moment of madness from Kepu – who wiped out Hamish Watson with his shoulder in the 39th minute – that stemmed the Wallabies’ momentum after a brace of tries from Tevita Kuridrani had helped Australia fightback from 10-0 down.

Head coach Townsend, who lost star man Stuart Hogg in the warm-up, conceded the incident was a game-changer, but was keen for his side to receive the plaudits they deserved.

Speaking to BBC Sport, he said: “It’s an amazing result, to score so many points against the number-three team in the world.

“Obviously you have to take into account the red card. They were playing well at the beginning of the game and came back at the start of the second half.

“But we just kept that mindset of wanting to play and working very hard and it got its rewards.”

 

Hogg’s injury offered an opportunity to Sale Sharks winger Byron McGuigan, who made the most of his team-mate’s misfortune with two tries on his first Test start.

“It probably says two things – we’ve got good depth just now, Byron McGuigan was outstanding on his first start, and it also says this team are resilient,” added Townsend, who has now overseen home and away victories over the Wallabies.

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“They showed that last week against New Zealand when they were dealing with injuries, and dealing with something just before kick-off didn’t knock them off their stride.

“It wasn’t perfect, the more the game became unstructured suited us and the fact we had a one-man advantage.”

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Shaylen 6 hours ago
Ireland and South Africa share the same player development dilemma

These guys will be utility players Nick it cannot be helped because coaches cannot help themselves. Rassie looks at players like these and sees the ability to cover multiple positions without losing much. It allows the 6-2 or 7-1. He wont change his coaching style or strategy for one player. At provincial level players like these are indispensable. If there is an injury to your starting 12 but your back up 12 is a bit iffy then a coach is going to go with the back up 10 who is gold and who can play a good 12. Damian Willemse for the Springboks is an obvious case, for the Stormers its the same. Dobson plays him at 12 or 15, with Gelant in the team he plays 12 but if Gelant goes down he doesnt go for his back up 15, he just puts Willemse there. With Frawley its the same at international and provincial level. He just slots in wherever. Frans Steyn made a career out of it. He was much maligned though as a youngster as he never fully developed into any role. He then went to Japan and France to decide for himself what kind of player he was, put on muscle and retained his big boot, ran over players and booted the ball long and came back into the Springboks after about 3 years away and was then certain about how he wanted to play the game no matter what position. Coaches cannot help themselves because they only want what is best for their teams and that means putting your most talented players on even if it means you cause them some discomfort. Sometimes players need to decide how they want to play the game and then adapt that to every position and let the coach decide how they want to use them.

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