SCOTLAND did enough in the end to see off the challenge of Fiji yesterday, but both head coach Gregor Townsend and captain Jamie Ritchie accepted that they will have to do a lot more next Sunday to have a chance of claiming a first win over New Zealand.

The 28-12 win over Vern Cotter’s Fijians at BT Murrayfield was in the end secure enough. The visitors, just 14-12 behind at the break, were kept scoreless in the second 40 by a much-improved performance from Townsend’s team.

However, Fiji scored two tries in the first half and might well have had at least one more, especially after full-back Stuart Hogg was sent to the sin-bin following their second touchdown.

Scotland’s discipline was poor in that first half, and their defence was shaky, especially out wide. Townsend is well aware that such defects could be a lot more severely punished by the All Blacks.

“When you play the best teams in the world you have to be at your best,” the head coach said. “We’ve never beaten them in our history, though we have come close.

“We will take inspiration from our performance five years ago” – when the All Blacks only just won 22-17 in Edinburgh – “but also from what other teams have done to New Zealand over the past few weeks and months.

“We will have to be much better, we know that. For a lot of players that was their first game for us this season so we will improve after the learnings we take from today.

“What do we have to do better? We can’t give away as many penalties, that’s for sure. We’ve got to convert when we have opportunities, which we didn’t do enough today. We did have opportunities in the first half, and a lot in the second half.

“In the second half, a lot of them led to penalties. But we won’t get as many opportunities to score tries next week so we’ve got to make sure we take them.”

Yesterday’s Autumn Nations Series match was a first win as captain for Jamie Ritchie, who took charge of the team for the first time in the 16-15 defeat by Australia seven days earlier.

The Edinburgh forward agreed with Townsend that discipline let Scotland down as they gave away a total of 12 penalties, but also insisted that his team had proven to be fitter than Fiji.

“We were frustrated with our discipline in the first half,” Ritchie said. “However, we knew they would be in the game early doors, but we felt that we were fitter than them.

“With our discipline, we need to tidy it up. We can’t be giving teams too many opportunities and we know that, so we will be looking to rectify it.”

Scotland’s penalty count was actually marginally better yesterday than it had been against the Wallabies, and although Townsend believes it is still too high, he was encouraged by the way in which his team worked out how to commit fewer offences after the break.

“We won the penalty count today and we won it last week,” the coach continued.

“You take games into context: 14 was a lot last week, but the opposition conceded 15. Today the opposition gave away 17. Sometimes games become high penalty counts.

“We have to set our own standards – single figures is always an area you want to get to. We were within that with about two minutes to go, so we sorted out the problems at half time.

“If we [concede so many] next week, there is going to be a lot of defending in our own 22, yellow cards and defending with 14 men. But we learned the lesson in the first half and it was much better in the second.”

Fiji coach Cotter, who preceded Townsend in charge of Scotland, found a lot of positives in his own team’s play. But he was left to rue their failure to score more points late in the first half when they had the home side under heavy pressure.

“I thought we scrambled well and the guys put in the effort around contact,” he said. “Those are really good things to work on. Just before half time, if we had scored and they hadn’t, it might have been a bit tighter.”