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Page last updated at 12:42 GMT, Sunday, 21 November 2010

Scotland aim to build on Springboks victory

Scotland celebrate their 21-17 win over South Africa at Murrayfield
Scotland beat South Africa for just the second time in 41 years

Scotland must follow their gritty triumph over South Africa with a win against Samoa next weekend, according to attack coach Gregor Townsend.

The Scots won 21-17 in the Edinburgh rain to ease the pain of a record defeat to New Zealand last weekend.

"A year ago we beat Australia but we didn't back it up, the following week, so that's our focus," said Townsend.

"We've got Samoa next and we know they are tough. We need to go into the Six Nations with back-to-back wins."

Dan Parks kicked all of Scotland's points, with six penalties and a drop goal, as the Springboks struggled to find their rhythm in the wet conditions.

It was a remarkable turnaround from Andy Robinson's side, who lost 49-3 to New Zealand just seven days earlier.

It was very important for us to come back because we had been so humiliated by the New Zealanders

Dan Parks
Scotland stand-off

Scotland have now won four of their last five outings and Townsend believes the team are heading in the right direction, despite the trouncing from the All Blacks.

"Three of those wins were away from home, in Ireland and Argentina (twice)," he explained to BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek.

"And that takes character. There's a real togetherness in the squad."

Townsend revealed that there had been much soul-searching in the build-up to the second autumn Test at Murrayfield and was delighted with the response of the players.

"At the beginning of the week, we showed them areas we were very disappointed with and the players were as well. They knew their performance against New Zealand was nowhere near good enough for what is required at international level.

"Then you aim to build the players' confidence, stressing why they've been picked and the strengths they bring.

"We did the team review with everyone present and that was a painful viewing experience. But also you meet with individuals during the week.

Highlights - Scotland 21-17 South Africa

"We knew we were a much better side than our performance against the All Blacks suggested. You make one or two errors against them and it's 7, 14, 21 points and the game is gone.

"We defended much better this time and got our tactics spot on. We made it very difficult for South Africa.

"If you get things right, on any given day, then you can upset the form guide."

While the Springboks floundered in the rain, Parks was at his very best with the boot, taking every opportunity to add points for the home side.

And he too was thrilled at the way Scotland bounced back from a below par performance.

"The meeting on Monday was very unpleasant. But that has to happen sometimes when you play poorly," said the influential stand-off.

"It was a quiet start to the week, there were a lot of heads down and a few of us said 'what's done is done, we have to lift our heads and look forward to the battle'.

"In response to that we did really well and the boys came on to a good game.

"It was about sticking in there, making the tackles and building the points.


"It was very important for us to come back because we had been so humiliated by the New Zealanders. They were fantastic and we only showed up in patches.

"We had to make that right and the conditions suited us in many ways. We were able to play a tactical kicking game and rely on our defence.

"At the end of the day, our defence held up. There was only one try in the match and we were lucky enough to get points on the board throughout the game, to give us that cushion."

Willem Alberts crashed over for a late score but the Scots held on to the lead Parks had established after a slow start from the home side.

South Africa were 6-0 up early in the game and had missed two penalties before Parks landed the first of his kicks.

"We gradually clawed our way back into it and then held on once we got in front," added Parks.

"It's a fantastic achievement against the number two side in the world.

"We're always looking to improve and I think we are on track, after a poor performance last week."

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see also
Scotland lose MacLeod to injury
21 Nov 10 |  Scottish
Robinson hails Scotland recovery
20 Nov 10 |  Scottish
Scotland 21-17 South Africa
20 Nov 10 |  Scottish

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