x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Scotland search for answers after humiliating rugby loss to South Africa

Johnson trying to lift players before clash with Australia on Saturday while Wales prepare for Tonga.

Scotland players walk off the pitch after their loss to South Africa on Sunday. There is no time to sulk beacuse Australia is next. David Rogers / Getty Images
Scotland players walk off the pitch after their loss to South Africa on Sunday. There is no time to sulk beacuse Australia is next. David Rogers / Getty Images

Scotland forward David Denton insists the Scots cannot afford to sulk over their humiliating defeat to South Africa, with Australia waiting on Saturday.

Scott Johnson’s men crashed to a painful 28-0 loss against the Springboks at Murrayfield on Sunday.

It was the worst result of the Australian interim head coach’s 11-month tenure and dented confidence just as it was starting to return following the dismal Andy Robinson era.

The Wallabies are next up for the Scots in the final Autumn international, and Denton has warned his teammates they cannot feel sorry for themselves against Southern Hemisphere opposition.

“We have got no time to be demoralised,” he said. “We play Australia on Saturday and we have to be ready.

“We were straight back into meetings on Monday and we just need to move on for that next game.

“We’re all disappointed with Sunday, but there is nothing we can do and we just have to get on with things.

“If we don’t, we will just end up on the end of another poor result.”

South Africa bypassed feeble Scottish defences three times to score in a bruising opening half in Edinburgh before completing the rout with a fourth try after the break.

Two of the Springboks touchdowns came from powerful line-out drives and Denton admitted his side lost the physical battle.

“It was massively disappointing,” he said. “We didn’t play as well as we could and we lost the breakdown battle.

“We knew what was coming. We knew that they were going to try to maul us and that it would be a physical battle.

“But they did well, to be fair. For the first maul that led to their opening try, we all piled in and all they did was go around the side. It was intelligent rugby.

“There is no question they are a good side and we have to be at our best to beat them.

“We are more than capable of that. We showed in South Africa that we can match their brutality, their physicality.”

Teenager to debut for Wales against Tonga

Meanwhile, Newport Gwent Dragons back Hallam Amos, 19, will make his Wales debut in Friday night’s clash against Tonga at the Millennium Stadium.

He is among 11 changes from the side that claimed a record 40-6 victory against Argentina three days ago.

The four survivors from that Pumas clash are full-back Leigh Halfpenny, wing George North, prop Rhodri Jones and flanker Justin Tipuric in a team captained by No 8 Ryan Jones.

Warren Gatland, the Wales coach, said: “We have made a number of changes, but it’s a great opportunity for these guys to show us exactly how they cope with the international game.

“The whole squad has trained well since the start of the campaign and they deserve their chance.”

Tonga prop Sona Taumalolo has received a four-week ban and will miss Friday’s game.

Taumalolo was sent off for punching France lock Yoann Maestri, who was also red-carded for striking Taumalolo in the same incident, during last weekend’s game in Le Havre.


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