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Scotland must move on quickly from South Africa loss - Stuart McInally

Stuart McInally (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Scotland hooker Stuart McInally will get the taste of defeat out of his mouth by “sinking his teeth” into Japan.


Gregor Townsend’s men suffered their first loss of the Autumn Nations Series when they went down 30-15 to South Africa on Saturday.

But McInally stressed the reaction to the setback would be the same as the way they got down to business after their impressive win over Australia the previous weekend.

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Siya Kolisi
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Siya Kolisi

The Edinburgh player said: “You get over a defeat just by sinking your teeth into the next opponents.

“I remember someone asking me last week, maybe on the Monday or Tuesday, ‘you must still be buzzing from the Australia victory?’ But, win or lose, you quickly get over it and learn your lessons and you have to just focus on the next game.

“We enjoyed the Australia win that night but the next day we were straight into prepping for South Africa. And it will be the same for this. We will do our reviews and learn the lessons we need to but then our focus will turn very quickly to Japan.

“There will be lots of positives we can take from the game but lots of lessons as well.”

McInally felt Scotland’s game plan of moving the ball quickly and trying to stretch the world champions worked well at times, notably for Stuart Hogg’s two tries.


And he rejected suggestions that the best way to deal with their physicality was to play them at their own game.

“I don’t think that’s the way to play them,” he said. “You have to match their physicality and we believe we are a physical team and we showed that in large parts of our defence. A lot of their points came from penalty kicks not from barreling us and gaining momentum that way. I was really proud of our defensive effort.

“But if you look at the way we scored our tries, it was through moving the ball.

“That was part of our plan and it was good to see us pick off a few tries. We just needed to take a few more of those opportunities as well.”


The Springboks notched two tries as well and it was the penalty count that cost Scotland with the tourists kicking themselves out of sight in the final quarter.

McInally admitted there were some lessons to learn from the set-piece.

“They have got an excellent lineout defence so you have got to give credit to them,” he said. “In that second half they really squeezed us and picked off a few lineouts.

“We came up against a really good scrum. They were powerful and well-coached. There were a few times we creaked a little but there were a few times I felt we got into good shape and rhythm and potentially didn’t get the rewards.

“You have got to give credit to them at set-piece. They are a set-piece team and they came and delivered on what they tried to deliver on.

“On the whole we could have done better at scrum time and solved a few issues but credit to them for the way they played.”


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