Scotland ready for fierce battle of wills with Ireland, says Tim Swinson

Glasgow lock rates his side’s chances in Aviva showdown against Joe Schmidt’s men

Scotland lock Tim Swinson speaks to his team-mates during last weekend’s triumph over England in Edinburgh. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Scotland lock Tim Swinson speaks to his team-mates during last weekend’s triumph over England in Edinburgh. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Scotland lock Tim Swinson expects sparks to fly when his side collides with the immovable object of Ireland in Dublin next week.

Gregor Townsend’s unstoppable team are on a high after their stunning 25-13 win over England at Murrayfield last weekend.

That Calcutta Cup triumph has yet again underlined the forward strides Townsend’s team have taken since the former Glasgow coach’s appointment last summer.

Having failed to register a single try in Edinburgh against the English in the previous 14 years, they ran in three as Eddie Jones’s men were blown away.

And the result has now thrust a Scotland side whose Championship hopes appeared to have crumbled following defeat to Wales in their Cardiff opener back into contention as they prepare to face Joe Schmidt’s men at the Aviva Stadium a week on Saturday.

However, to keep those title ambitions alive they will have to overcome a side aiming for the Grand Slam.

Swinson, who climbed off the bench with 25 minutes left to help stave off England’s late charge, expects a fierce battle of wills – and a spectacle to remember.

Charge

The Glasgow lock said: “We’ve shown when we play a game that we control, we are good. That is what Test match rugby is about – imposing your style of play on the other side.

“Ireland also happen to be good at that but so are we and it’s going to be some sight seeing who wins out.”

Townsend’s nine games in charge has so far produced 33 tries and Swinson reckons his side are now capable of striking from anywhere on the pitch.

“I heard over the weekend that Huw Jones’s first try was our first against England at Murrayfield for 14 years,” he said. “So for us to score three last week was great.

“It was also the standard of try that was impressive. Some of the finishing from the backs was exceptional.

“But we shouldn’t forget some of the great inter-play by the forwards. Stuart McInally for example had a great game in the loose and it shows how together the team is that when we scored the third try the whole team, one to 15, plus the

subs came together to celebrate under the posts.

“That really shows the togetherness of the squad.”

After downing their oldest rivals for the first time in a decade, expectation is running wild among the Scotland faithful.

Force

But Swinson has followed Townsend’s lead by cautioning that his side must prove they can reproduce that kind of result on a regular basis before they can truly be considered a genuine world force.

He said: “England are ranked second in the world. They’re a fantastic side so it shows how hard the Scotland backroom staff and the players are working to improve.

“Over the last five years we’ve been a work-in-progress – but we still feel there is more to do.

“We had a good showing against New Zealand in the autumn and it was fantastic getting that win over England.

“But Ireland are undefeated in this year’s Championship and are a fantastic side in their own right, so to say we have broken out on to the world stage [is a bit premature].

“Saturday’s win was fantastic but we have got a few more to win first.”

– PA

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