Scots search for balance

Scotland coach Frank Hadden will make several changes to the team thrashed by 20 points for the second Test against the Springboks in Port Elizabeth.

Hadden believes Scotland need to do everything faster if they hope to get close to competing with the Boks in the series decider on Saturday.

The squad ran with various combinations, halfbacks and props inter-changing regularly, indicating Hadden’s desire for change, The Scotsman newspaper said.

Up front Alastair Kellock – a second half replacement in Durban – could get the nod, while Craig Smith may also get his chance. Jon Petrie was put through his paces in training at No 8 in what would be a third change to the pack decimated by the Boks in the first encounter.

In the midfield, Ben MacDougall replaced Marcus Di Rollo at outside centre for much of yesterday’s training session. “I think we got the balance wrong,” Hadden told The Scotsman, “and there were one or two things which we thought might be effective that weren’t effective because there were things about the Springboks’ defence that surprised us.”

“But one area above all we have to improve is the contact area. We have to be far more aggressive in contact, whether that’s the scrum, driving maul, tackle, clearing.”

“We have to be more assertive and abrasive. But that’s one of the biggest improvements in our game over the last 12 months so it was a bit of a surprise to have to go in at half-time and read the riot act. I don’t expect that to ever happen again.

“But, I have never been downhearted here. I honestly feel that the players do see this game as a genuine opportunity. They are fully aware they can’t afford to be tentative this week round and there is still an opportunity for them to do something very special indeed this weekend.”