Six Nations: Scott Johnson compares Scotland to an episode of 'CSI'

Coach wants his side to build on 'evidence' they have compiled so far in Six Nations

They are not short on entertainment value, this new-look Scotland. On the field, two games into the Six Nations championship, there has been the attacking verve that has yielded six tries. Off it, there have been such pearls of wisdom as Scott Johnson dropped into his team announcement at Murrayfield.

"It's like CSI," Scotland's bluff Aussie interim head coach said, pondering the trajectory of a team who bounced back from a 38-18 defeat against England at Twickenham with a 34-10 home win against Italy and who face Ireland in Edinburgh on Sunday.

"In week one all we left was fingerprints. In the second week we had eye witnesses to the event, so there was improvement. But in the third week we still want to be there when the police arrive.

"The fact is we've got to keep improving. We're not deluding ourselves. We need to get the tackle area right. We need to get the contact area right.

"The performance we produced against Italy won't be good enough to beat Ireland They may have made changes but they've had good success here and they're a world-class defensive unit, so we've got to take it up by another peg or two."

Ireland's head coach, Declan Kidney, has been obliged to make five changes to the starting XV beaten 12-6 by England the weekend before last. He has taken the bold step of replacing the injured Jonathan Sexton and Gordon D'Arcy with the uncapped Ulster duo Paddy Jackson and Luke Marshall in the pivotal 10-12 axis positions.

Jackson has been preferred at outside-half to the veteran Ronan O'Gara, who has been capped 127 times, Kidney saying: "It was a very difficult decision to leave Ronan out but I think Paddy deserves a go in this one." Tom Court replaces the suspended Cian Healy at loosehead prop, while Keith Earls and Donncha O'Callaghan come in for the injured winger Simon Zebo and lock Mike McCarthy.

Johnson has made just the one change, enforced by Euan Murray's refusal to play on Sundays on religious grounds. Geoff Cross fills the breach – a character as singular as Johnson himself, en erudite Borderer with a degree in medicine from the University of Edinburgh, whose alumni include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Alexander Graham Bell and Robert Louis Stevenson.

"I don't think I've ever coached a kid like him, but I thoroughly enjoy his company," Johnson said of the Edinburgh front rower. "He's right down my alley.

"I come in every morning not knowing what to expect and that's a pleasant surprise in this day and age. He's entertaining. As my old dad used to say: 'He's so heavenly that we're trying to find his earthly use'. I think we've found it as a tighthead prop."

The appreciation is mutual. Cross said of Johnson: "I enjoy working with him. The things he asks you to do are almost embarrassingly simple. But he asks you to do them extraordinarily well. He can be a bit of a philosopher but that's fine. I like that."

Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Yaya Touré has defended his posturing over his future at Manchester City
Spectators photograph the Tour de France riders as they make their way through the Yorkshire countryside
voicesHoward Jacobson: Line the streets for a cycling race? You might just as well watch a swarm of wasps
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
lifeHere's one answer to an inquisitive Reddit user's question
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Detail of the dress made entirely of loom bands
Life and Style
There were mass celebrations across Argentina as the country's national team reached their first World Cup final for 24 years
transfersOne of the men to suffer cardiac arrest was 16 years old
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
A mugshot of Ian Watkins released by South Wales Police following his guilty pleas
peopleBandmates open up about abuse
Basketball superstar LeBron James gets into his stride for the Cleveland Cavaliers
sportNBA superstar announces decision to return to Cleveland Cavaliers
Javier Mascherano of Argentina tackles Arjen Robben of the Netherlands as he attempts a shot
world cup 2014
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice