Scotland braced for ‘whirlwind’ of criticism – Taylor

Duncan Taylor admits Scotland are bracing themselves for the storm of criticism headed their way after their dismal start to the World Cup.

Sunday’s opener with Ireland in Yokohama was forecast to be played out under extreme conditions as Typhoon Tapah hit Japan.

But while the worst of the weather predictions failed to materialise, Gregor Townsend’s sloppy Scots still found themselves clinging on as Joe Schmidt’s team ran riot on their way to a 27-3 bonus-point win.

Ireland were dominant against Scotland
Ireland were dominant against Scotland (Ashley Western/PA)

That humiliating start has blown away much of the optimism that had swirled round the Dark Blues’ camp in the days leading up to their showdown at the International Stadium.

But Saracens centre Taylor insists his team will deal with the criticism and then look to unleash their frustrations on Samoa, who they face next in Kobe next Monday.

He said: “I know that fans aren’t happy. We’re not happy, believe me. We need to make sure we front up now.

“We’ll take the whirlwind that will come at us and we’ll brush ourselves down and prepare for Samoa.

“We’ll go out there and give it everything we’ve got. We’ve got to win the next three. We have to be on top of our game from here on in.

“It hurts a lot. We’re a proud bunch and that changing room after the game was about as bleak as I’ve seen it.

“Everybody is sad and down about that performance. Sunday was a really tough day and we’re going to have to take a really good look at what went wrong.

“We don’t have too much time to dwell on it. We have to look to Samoa now. We have a game in eight days time and we need to get back on the horse.”

Scotland started brightly as they took the game to Ireland but they failed to take advantage, with Taylor himself guilty of a wild throw into touch with Ireland on the back foot.

And the wheels had come off by the sixth minute, with captain Stuart McInally’s slip letting James Ryan in to score the first of four Irish tries.

“It was a funny old first 20 minutes,” said Taylor. “We seemed to get ourselves in decent enough field positions but a few errors, myself included, and we end up putting ourselves on the back foot.”

The loss now leaves Scotland facing the reality that they must win their three remaining games against Samoa, Russia and Japan if they are to make the quarter-finals.

BREAKING | Edinburgh back-row Magnus Bradbury will replace teammate Hamish Watson in the Scotland squad for #RWC2019.

Watson sustained a knee injury in the national team's Pool A defeat to Ireland, with a post-match scan confirming he'll play no further part in the tournament. pic.twitter.com/QrpxGMF1pw

— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) September 23, 2019

And Taylor said: “We have to beat Samoa and we have to beat Russia and we have to beat Japan in the final game.

“Samoa are a good outfit and they’ll fancy themselves against us, but we have to focus on ourselves.

“If we’re on top of our game we can beat just about any team in the world and we need to get back to where we need to be.”

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