Thursday 23 May 2019

Townsend laments Scots' ill-discipline as MacGinty flies high for Eagles

Gregor Townsend. (Ian Rutherford/PA)
Gregor Townsend. (Ian Rutherford/PA)

Coach Gregor Townsend blamed poor discipline for Scotland's 30-29 defeat to the USA in Houston.

Scotland became the first Tier One nation to suffer defeat at the hands of the Eagles after they surrendered a 24-13 half-time lead.

"We gave them momentum in that third quarter through ill-discipline," said Townsend.

"A couple of penalties gave them field position. They'd a lot of possession in that area and got a try through an error, which happens especially when the ball is slippery.

"We felt we had done some good things in the first-half and when we added pace to the game we found space and scored those tries.

"We did not finish early enough, Mark (Bennett) had a chance with 10 minutes to go and we had a couple of line-out drives and got close to the line and got penalties, but we left it too late."

Blair Kinghorn gave Scotland the lead with a second-minute try and they were also awarded a penalty try before George Turner breached the USA defence to help the tourists build a 21-6 lead.

Joe Taufete'e crossed for the USA's first try two minutes before the break and Dubliner AJ MacGinty added the conversion to two earlier penalties.


The hosts continued their recovery after the interval with Taufete'e scoring a second try and Hanco Germishuys going over. MacGinty converted both, as well as slotting over a penalty, as the Eagles took the lead.

Dougie Fife gave Scotland hope of snatching victory with a last-gasp try, but Kinghorn could not add the touchline conversion.

Townsend is looking on his team to right the wrongs of this historic defeat for the clash with Argentina on Saturday.

Meanwhile, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has suggested World Rugby should consider a disciplinary report system like rugby league's rather than issuing red cards, after his side beat 14-man France 26-13 on Saturday.

France full-back Benjamin Fall was sent off in the 12th minute of the second Test for a collision with Beauden Barrett in the air that ended with the All Blacks fly-half landing on his head.

Referee Angus Gardner consulted with television official George Ayoub before he made his decision and said the rules left him with "no choice" but to send Fall from the field.

"It's disappointing they lost a player," Hansen said after the match. "I know it's tough and they have to look after players but somehow I think that we need to look at something where that can go on report."

Hansen thought the decision to send off Fall had been harsh.

"He didn't do it intentionally, didn't aim to do anything to Beaudie [Barrett]," Hansen said. "It's just one of those things."

Irish Independent

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