Saturday 16

Rugby Union

Scots skipper targets further improvement

2nd February 2019, 17:21 by Jack Ogalbe

Greig Laidlaw says Scotland must not take their winning start to the Six Nations for granted after falling off the pace against Italy.

The Scots ran in five tries, with Blair Kinghorn becoming the first of his countrymen to score a hat-trick in the tournament, while Stuart Hogg and Chris Harris also crossed.

Gregor Townsend's men were dominant for large swathes but were sluggish in the final quarter, and the Azzurri hit back as Guglielmo Palazzani, Edoardo Padovani and Angelo Esposito went over in the final 10 minutes.

A 33-20 bonus-point victory got the campaign off to a perfect start but Ireland visit Murrayfield next weekend and Scotland will need to put in an 80-minute performance to have any chance of winning.

Home captain Laidlaw, who kicked six points on Saturday, said there were areas of encouragement for his side although he knows they cannot lose concentration against the Irish.

"We were quite happy with the middle part of the game, the way we put Italy under pressure," Laidlaw said. "But we have got a couple of things to work on before Ireland come here next week, but that is a positive thing.

"Against quality opposition like Ireland, we can't release a Test match like that.

"We were well in control and just gave Italy momentum by being less aggressive and slipping off tackles. That will heighten our awareness for next week against a quality team."

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Jack Ogalbe has been working for the team since his student days, having enjoyed a successful placement. He is an avid West Ham fan but also enjoys writing on rugby union, golf, tennis and cycling.

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