Townsend laments poor defence in Fiji loss

Gregor Townsend (Getty Images)
Gregor Townsend (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend identified his side's defence as an area which let them down in Saturday's loss to Fiji in Suva.

The visitors outscored Fiji three tries to two but poor discipline and missed tackles cost them dearly as five Ben Volavola penalties eventually helped the home side to a deserved 27-22 victory.

The result was Townsend's first defeat since taking over the coaching reins from Vern Cotter at the end of the Six Nations and follows impressive victories over Italy and Australia in their previous matches on their mid-year tour.

Townsend was understandably disappointed with his side's showing after the match.

“We did not play as well as we have done on tour but credit to Fiji, they played some outstanding rugby, particularly in the second half and were tough to handle,” he said.

“For us to win Test matches we have to play really well, as we showed last week [against Australia], but we missed too many tackles and Fiji came alive when they broke those tackles.

“Also we have to look after the ball in our attack; too many balls were lost in contact with the wet ball. I’m really disappointed.”

The result was Fiji's first triumph over Scotland since 1998 and the Pacific islanders' coach John McKee sang his players' praises.

“We have made a lot of progress as a team in the time we have been together but we have two big games ahead of us [World Cup qualifying matches] against Tonga and Samoa,” he said.

“We will enjoy the victory but then start focusing on those.

“The team is advancing. When I was first interviewed for the job I said I wanted Fiji to be a competitor with Tier One nations because I believe we have the talented athletes here and have shown we can step up.

“We have very talented rugby players and for me the big thing is to see those guys who are top players in Europe coming back to play for Fiji.”

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England 92/4 (28 ov)
Pakistan 326
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England 92/4 (28 ov)
Pakistan 326
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