The ‘so special’ reason Scotland predicts an ABs surprise

Grant Gilchrist has called on Scotland to seize their chance to make history against New Zealand this weekend. The Scots have never beaten the All Blacks, although they came very close in their last meeting in 2017 when a strong comeback brought Gregor Townsend’s side to a winning score before succumbing to a 22-17 loss.

Edinburgh Lock Gilchrist played in that game and believes the current side are equipped to go one step further and record a win if they can put together all the positives from their game on Sunday. “It was one of the best moments of my career, that game,” he said.

“It was so special. We were so close. We know the amount of effort and the level of performance it will require, but what an opportunity it is to play against them at home and try to make history. It’s something the team will enjoy this week. If we put everything into our training week, make some corrections and show our best performance on Sunday, we think we can win.”

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Gilchrist believes BT Murrayfield can help Scotland thrive this weekend. “I love to play at Murrayfield whenever I get the chance, but that game against the All Blacks, the atmosphere felt like a Calcutta Cup game where every decision was roared either way,” he said. “We’re going to need that on Sunday because it makes a big difference when our fans are behind us.

“It will be a special day. Naturally, there’s an added level of excitement in a game like this because you know you’re playing against the best. You try to prepare yourself to play at the same intensity every week, but this week there is an added twist because we have the opportunity to do something that has never been done before. That’s exciting for everyone.”

Scotland have had a mixed 2022 but, despite being competitive in most of their matches, haven’t really fired flat out. On Saturday, in their 28-12 win over Fiji, they showed two sides to their game by conceding two tries in a dismal first half before tightening things up after the break and holding off the visitors in a more confident performance in the second half. . “We work every week to try to produce that complete performance,” Gilchrist said.

“The foundations are there. We just have to put it all together, and what a chance we have to do it on the biggest stage this week. It seemed that the only chances for Fiji last weekend came from our own poor discipline. We have a strong defense and we will need it for the next two weekends, especially this weekend.”


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