Gregor Townsend gears up for Scotland’s ‘twin challenge’ in Dublin

first_imgThat defeat by Wales was not the first time Scotland set off on their travels looking to play with the swagger they display at Murrayfield but ended up with their tails between their legs – their previous away trip in the competition was a 61-21 loss at Twickenham.Townsend highlighted the parochial nature of the Six Nations as a reason why his side have struggled on the road and Scotland are not alone, considering Ireland’s last-gasp win in France is the only away win of the tournament so far – if not including Rome.“You guys know our record in the Six Nations, it is tough to play away from home. England obviously found that out here,” he added. “But we have to make sure that we’ve got our focus right and we’re ready for what we’re facing in Dublin, and we’re able to play accurate rugby. We didn’t do that two or three weeks ago in Cardiff.” Share on Pinterest Share via Email Scotland rugby union team Rugby union Topics Reuse this content England and Scotland told to explain tunnel fracas involving Owen Farrell Share on WhatsApp Share on Facebook Six Nations 2018 Scotland’s class act Finn Russell has last laugh against England newscenter_img Six Nations That optimism has returned in spades after a first win over England in a decade, and the stylish manner in which it was achieved, but Ireland are now the only side to win all three of their matches this year and Scotland have triumphed there only once in the Six Nations.“There is a twin challenge – we have to look at Ireland and what we need to do to beat them, and get our game in place but also do much better away from home,” Townsend said. “It has been an issue for Scotland since the Six Nations began and we’ve got to make sure that we play close to our potential.“If that means we win the game then brilliant but if it means we just put in a very improved performance from the likes of Cardiff and Twickenham then that’s a big step forward. For the development of where we are now, both on the mental side and the belief it creates, [this win is] really important.” Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Support The Guardian Since you’re here… After ending the famine in his first Calcutta Cup match as Scotland coach, Gregor Townsend has turned his attention to curing his side’s travel sickness. If buoyant Scotland can clinch a first win in Ireland since 2010 on 10 March they will be catapulted firmly into contention for the title – but to do so Townsend is aware his side must start reproducing their Murrayfield magic on the road.Indeed, Scotland have won only six matches away from home since the start of the Six Nations in 2000 and four of those have come against Italy. It is a problem dating back to when Townsend was a player and one demonstrated by Scotland’s emphatic defeat at the hands of Wales in their opening fixture of this year’s competition – a match that came with lofty expectations after an autumn full of optimism. … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Read more Share on Messenger Read morelast_img

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