Six Nations 2014: Scotland can recover from Ireland defeat to beat England, believes former international Gregor Townsend
Townsend feels that Scotland have the ability to bounce back from their poor showing in Dublin to take the Calcutta Cup clash
Thursday 06 February 2014
Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend believes Scotland can still shock England at Murrayfield on Saturday - despite their dismal defeat in Dublin.
Scotland started their RBS 6 Nations campaign with a one-sided 28-6 drubbing by Ireland at the Aviva Stadium.
They now take on the Auld Enemy but Townsend - who had nine players in the starting line-up against Joe Schmidt's side, with Pat MacArthur and Chris Cusiter joining the action from the bench - is certain the Scots can respond with a winning display.
The former Dark Blues stand-off - capped 82 times - said: "All the Scotland guys will want to bounce back quickly.
"We showed in the first half in Dublin that we can go up against the best teams in the Championships. It's about taking chances and sustaining that level of performance for 80 minutes.
"You don't get any bigger motivation than playing England at home and the fact both teams are coming in off a defeat means the focus will only be higher."
However, Townsend does not believe Scotland should push Stuart Hogg further up the pitch against England.
The 21-year-old was back in dark blue jersey against Ireland following a 12-month spell when his national team responsibilities were disrupted by duty with the British and Irish Lions and a wrist injury.
The Glasgow full-back's broken-field running talents have often sparked calls for him to be pushed up to outside centre or even stand-off in a bid to make use of his pace and agility.
Scotland coach Scott Johnson has already admitted he would like to give the Glasgow man a run at number 10 but his Scotstoun boss believes he is best staying put where he is.
Townsend said: "Stuart had a superb game at the weekend, he was one of the best performers over the three games, never mind just in Dublin.
"It's good to see him back in a Scotland jersey and getting involved in play. He looked fit and was breaking through tackles which is fantastic for Scotland going forward.
"He has got such good basic skills - his passing, his kicking, his ball-carrying - but gets a lot of opportunities at full-back. You see often that full-backs are second only to fly-halves in the number of touches of the ball they get so I'm not sure you would see him any more involved than he is now.
"You see him getting up to become first or second receiver a lot of the time and that is what you want. He's playing so well at full-back right now so why would you change that?"
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