Townsend – ‘Still plenty to work on’

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend was delighted to get off to a winning start in the 34-13 win over Italy but admits there is still room for improvement.

Scotland defeated the Azzurri by five tries to two on Saturday in Townsend's first game at the helm at the Singapore National Stadium. However, it wasn't always plain sailing as the Scots took 38 minutes to find a breakthrough. 

And Townsend admits had his side not scored before half-time that it may have been a different game altogether as the Italians would have been more confident coming out for the second-half.

"If we had gone in at 3-3 they would have had a lot of confidence but the tries gave us a boost and really set us up for the second half," Townsend told Euro Sport.

Townsend was happy with his side's finishing but is already turning his focus to how they can improve ahead of the trips to Australia and Fiji over the next two weeks.

"To win is important but obviously as a coach, we still have plenty to work on," said Townsend, who cut his coaching teeth with the Glasgow Warriors.

"We came out with a win and that's what we work for but there's room for improvement next week and we are already thinking about how we can get better.

"Italy are a tough opponent and the rugby they play takes a lot out of the forwards, but you have to keep working at it because there will be times in the game when opportunities will be made.

"I always thought it would be difficult to put in the type of rugby we have been doing in training because of the conditions and also because it's the first game together.

"The opening five minutes was excellent and the players kept on believing in what they were doing. Even though Italy came back into the game, we worked hard to get those two tries just before halftime."