Ruaridh Jackson downplays talk of Scotland mental block

Wales 27 Scotland 23: Ruaridh Jackson believes Scotland aren’t suffering a mental block despite slumping to a ninth successive Six Nations defeat.
Ruaridh Jackson downplays talk of Scotland mental block

For just over an hour in Wales, Scotland had the look of a side that was capable of beating the world’s top sides.

They responded to Gareth Davies’ early opener in impressive manner and levelled with Tommy Seymour’s try.

It was a close affair, with Scotland edging the possession stats on 51 per cent. Skipper Greig Laidlaw’s flawless kicking ensured they were 16-13 up with 14 minutes to go.

But the reality, unfortunately, is that when the game entered key late periods, Scotland found themselves stumped trying to unpick the Welsh defence. Their opponents, though, had no problem figuring out where the chinks in the Dark Blues’ rear guard were located.

Jamie Roberts slammed through to put the hosts ahead at the Principality Stadium before the careering George North danced his way in for the third. Duncan Taylor’s last-gasp touchdown for the visitors was too late to halt the home side’s party.

In their last nine games, Scotland have managed just 32 second-half points.

Jackson, though, insists the root of the problem is not in the players’ minds.

“We will have to look at it and see what really accounted for the errors and where we put ourselves under pressure,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a mental problem. We did make errors but our decision-makers are good and used to being in pressure situations and generally make the right decisions.”

Scorers for Wales:

Tries: G Davies, Roberts, North; Cons: Biggar (3); Pens: Biggar (2).

Scorers for Scotland:

Tries: Seymour, Taylor; Cons: Laidlaw, Weir; Pens: Laidlaw (3).

WALES

L Williams, G North, J Davies, J Roberts, T James, D Biggar, G Davies; R Evans, S Baldwin, S Lee, L Charteris, A Wyn Jones, S Warburton (c), J Tipuric, T Faletau.

Replacements:

K Owens, G Jenkins, T Francis, B Davies, D Lydiate, L Williams, R Priestland, G Anscombe.

SCOTLAND:

S Hogg, S Maitland, M Bennett, D Taylor, T Seymour, F Russell, G Laidlaw (c); A Dickinson, R Ford, W Nel, R Gray, J Gray, J Barclay, J Hardie, D Denton.

Replacements:

16 Stuart McInally, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Zander Fagerson, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Blair Cowan, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Sean Lamont.

Referee:

George Clancy (Ireland).

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