The Scotland wing, Tommy Seymour, believes the team will only become an international threat when they stop being pleased just to avoid a hammering against the game’s big guns.
The Scots held New Zealand at bay for much of Saturday’s Test at Murrayfield before losing 24-16. They even had a chance to put themselves on the brink of victory but skipper Greig Laidlaw pulled his penalty wide before the visitors marched downfield to score a try which put the game out of sight.
The defeat means Scotland’s 109-year search for a first win against the world champions goes on. But Seymour, who scored his second interception try in as many weeks to put the hosts 7-5 up after 12 minutes, insists if Scotland are just happy to come close, they will never find that elusive win.
“We can’t keep saying we are pleased with ‘this much’, because if you come up against a side and your only aim is to come up close, then it will never be good enough,” said the Glasgow player. “We have got to stop being a side that allows itself to take positives when you lose to the best team in the world, because if you do that you start drawing lines that you can’t cross.”
Having said that, there were clear signs of progress in Vern Cotter’s young side as they came within 10 points of the southern-hemisphere giants for the first time in 23 years.
“We have to be pleased with the consistency levels we have shown over the last two weeks and we have to be pleased with the performance against New Zealand,” added Seymour.
“[And] in a backwards kind of way, it is pleasing to be disappointed after Saturday’s result, because if it is a 30-point runaway, your disappointment only has one shade of grey. But the reason why we are disappointed after Saturday is because we were in a position to do more.
“We want to become a consistent threat and allow ourselves to be disappointed by the narrow margins, because once you do that you can really push on.”
Despite the win, New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter was unimpressed by his first start at fly-half in a year following a broken leg. After struggling with handling errors, he was replaced shortly after half-time.
“That first 20 [minutes] was pretty scratchy and there were a lot of mistakes from me personally which, if I get another chance, I’ll have to improve,” he said. “My option-taking probably wasn’t the best at times. But I was pretty pleased to be back out there playing again and I felt as the game went on I grew in confidence.”
Carter was replaced by Colin Slade, rated fourth in the pecking order of New Zealand No 10s, with Beauden Barrett and Aaron Cruden having taken the reins in Carter’s prolonged absence.After victories against the United States and England, the All Blacks will aim to finish their season-ending tour undefeated when they play Wales next weekend.Reuse content