• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Jackson: going back to basics has improved Scotland squad

Scotland fly-half Ruaridh Jackson feels going back to basics has been crucial to their improvement in this year`s RBS 6 Nations.

Scotland secured consecutive wins in the Six Nations on Sunday for the first time in 12 years when a resolute defensive display, coupled with the perfect kicking of Greig Laidlaw, earned them a 12-8 victory over Ireland.

Interim head coach Scott Johnson was heavily critical of his players` tackling following their opening defeat by England but they have conceded just 18 points in two games against Italy and the Irish, who subjected Scotland to a first-half bombardment at Murrayfield on Sunday.

Scotland have finished in the bottom two places in the Six Nations for six years in a row but victory over Wales on March 9 would leave them in the running for the title going into the final weekend of action.

Jackson said: "It`s hard to specify an exact thing that has changed. It`s quite crazy to think it has been that long since we won back-to-back games in the Six Nations.

"It shows how frustrating a time it probably has been for Scotland.

"But Johnno has come in and freshened things up a bit. Guys are enjoying it, there is a bit more relaxed atmosphere around the camp.

"We have really stripped back things and are simplifying. We are targeting a few areas we want to work on and that is our focus.

"It has really narrowed that focus down and it seems to be working. Hopefully we can keep on that uphill rise and hopefully get a third win."

Jackson, who was promoting the launch of the Adidas Boost running shoe, added: "We are doing a lot of repetitions of our basics - the rucking, the tackle area and all these things that are the backbone of a good solid team.

"Anything on top of that is a bonus, and that will come. We have slowly been getting things right and it is starting to pay off.

"If we can keep doing these things right and keep improving then I think it will put us in a good position to win more and more tests."

Wales are ahead of Scotland in the table on points difference and Jackson knows they will need another solid display against a side who utilise coach Shaun Edwards` blitz defence approach.

The Glasgow player said: "The Welsh are really passionate, like the other Celtic nations, but they have got a bit more of a blitz D and we will need to combat that.

"They have got some pretty big backs that are going to be running down some channels, the likes of George North and Jamie Roberts and (Alex) Cuthbert are all very dangerous.

"They will come with a different style to Ireland and we will need to combat that with some good defence."

Contextual targeting label: 

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.