Scotland’s eight-try win over Georgia was a good start but there is “a big step-up next week” against Wales in the delayed final Six Nations game, said head coach Gregor Townsend.
Townsend was pleased with the forward display as the Scots romped to a 48-7 win and also by the impressive return of Finn Russell, winning his 50th cap and showing some great touches in the final few minutes, albeit against a tiring Georgian defence.
“We don’t know if was the perfect preparation until next week, but it was excellent physically – the guys in the dressing room know that they’ve been in a test match,” said Townsend.
“The forward performance was excellent, the set-piece went well, but we didn’t get the same flow in our attack for the first part of the game – the ball was slippery and tough to control for both teams.”
Russell’s distributive skills were on full show as he came on for the last 25 minutes, when Adam Hastings moving to inside centre.
“Finn played well, his passing was outstanding, and he had a real positive impact on the game, just as he’s done at training this week,” said the head coach.
“It was good to see that we upped our game in the last 10, 15 minutes. We did that at the end of the first half – it shows our fitness levels are high.”
Fraser Brown said the whole pack deserved credit for the two tries he scored in his first game as captain.
“There’s a lot of positives to come out of that, especially in things we had identified before the game and implemented during it,” he said.
“From a setpiece point of view we functioned really well, and in defence we were really comfortable. But the best thing is that we have lots we know we can improve on before we go to Wales next week.”
Brown finished off two lineout drives and his replacement Stuart McInally another as the Scots excelled in that area.
“I can’t take a lot of credit for the tries, there were seven other guys pushing for me,” he said. “But obviously it’s a very proud moment for me to be captain and to score as well.”
The Scots do have one immediate casualty from the game, the unlucky Matt Fagerson suffering an ankle injury which threatens his involvement in the game in Wales.
Fagerson was also injured in his only other game for Scotland at Murrayfield, against Fiji two years ago.