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."

News
One Direction's Zayn Malik gazes at a bouquet of flowers in the 'Night Changes' music video
people
News
people
News
'Free the Nipple' film screening after party with We Are The XX, New York, America - 04 Feb 2014
news
Arts and Entertainment
Russell Tovey, Myanna Buring and Julian Rhind Tutt star in Banished
tvReview: The latest episode was a smidgen less depressing... but it’s hardly a bonza beach party
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss
Tony Blair joins a strange and exclusive club of political leaders whose careers have been blighted by the Middle East

Blair has joined a strange and exclusive club

A new tomb has just gone up in the Middle East's graveyard of US and British political reputations, says Patrick Cockburn