Scotland centre Huw Jones insists that his team were not caught out by South Africa’s suffocating rush defence during Sunday night’s defeat in Marseilles, but suggested that they were powerless to counter that high-intensity approach because of a lack of quick ball to play with.

"We knew what they were going to do against us, and we had our plans around that, so maybe it was won and lost at the breakdown," he said. "They were piling in there pretty much every time and maybe we lost some numbers in there dealing with that.

"Defensively, as a team, I thought we were good, but we needed to put more phases together to get our attacking game working which was something we didn't manage to do. Discipline cost us at times. That was the combination that let us down.

"We were in the contest for pretty much most of the game," he added. "To hold them try-less under that sort of pressure was good. Then we thought we’d kick on and put our attacking game out there, but we did not manage to do that and ten minutes after half time they pulled away.

"Realistically, we have to go three from three in our remaining pool games now and we are focusing on that. We have a bye-week now which gives us extra time to prepare for a massive game against Tonga [on 21st September], when we will be wanting to really put our game out there. We wanted to do that against South Africa but didn't manage it. Now we have more time to prepare, and our destiny is still in our own hands.”

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Meanwhile, Scotland attack coach Brad Mooar claimed that the biggest lesson from the Springbok defeat is the importance of executing under pressure in big matches when scoring chances are at a premium. "There were a couple of opportunities in the first half that we needed to take,” he said.

"There was one off a line-out play and one-off a free-kick after a scrum when we had clear opportunities to score, and when you are playing these top tier nations in big tests, you have to take those [chances] to shift scoreboard pressure and ask questions of the opposition,

"So, for us, that’s where it lies. There were other opportunities where we didn’t execute skill-set wise or we didn’t make the pass, and so we embrace the challenge.”