The folk from the Highlands are a tough lot and the Scottish rugby team at the Commonwealth Games exemplifies this notion. After a sterling plate finish at the Emirates Airlines Edinburgh 7s, confidence is high within the squad, which will look to offer serious competition to World No.1 New Zealand, Canada and Guyana in Pool A.
“We are concentrating on the first game with Guyana. If we win against them and Canada, we have a good chance to make it to the cross-pool games against Wales, Tonga South Africa or India,” said captain Scott Forrest.
Earlier, in an interview to www.scotlandrugby.org, head coach, Stephen Gemell, had said, “The CWG is different from the World Series. It is a chance to mix with some of the best athletes in the world and that I have the strongest squad possible is satisfying for me as coach.”
With regard to the India sojourn, Forrest said, “It’s great. We were here last year to train for the CWG. The Games Village is excellent and I have no complaints about the practice venue (Hindu College).”
Fresh from a practice friendly against the Indians on Saturday, Forrest complimented the hosts. “They are disciplined, technically gifted and it’s sad that they do not have access to more resources. Their forwards, in particular, are very composed and talented and will serve them well.”
The Indians, who fell short in the three-halves game played at Hindu College, seemed disappointed with their game-play after the highs they experienced in Istanbul and England earlier this year.
“We’re disappointed with the game. In the three sessions we played, we lacked possession in the first half but came back well in the next two. We fell behind primarily in pace and coordination,” said a dejected Nasser Hussain, the India captain.
Asked about the positives from the practice tie, Hussain said, “Our set-piece play was effective but the kick-offs were poor whereas the Scots dominated in that department. We’ll have a look at the video to analyze where we went wrong.”
Regarding their practice venue at St Stephen’s College, Hussain had positive remarks. “The turf is good, that was our main complaint against the Pune facility where we were earlier. It’s the same for the Hindu ground. The work’s completed, as last year when we came to train the changing rooms were not ready.”
Both sides would have zeroed in on deficiencies, and how far this will aid them against some very dynamic opposition, remains to be seen.