Townsend: We targeted winning the second half - not the game!

By Ben Spratt 17 March 2019 109
Townsend: We targeted winning the second half - not the game!

Gregor Townsend believed Scotland had no chance of turning around their Six Nations clash with England before a stunning second half at Twickenham.

The visitors trailed 31-0 in the first half after England made a sensational start, yet Scotland could have won the tie after six tries without reply saw Sam Johnson's score put them in front late on.

There was still time for England to belatedly rally and cross through George Ford to earn a draw, although Scotland retained the Calcutta Cup.

And visiting coach Townsend admitted afterwards that the second-half display from his side was beyond any expectations he had at the break.

"Do you want to talk about the first half or the second half?" Townsend joked to ITV Sport. "We showed a lot of character today. To respond the way we did in the second half, I was more than proud.

"We set a goal of winning the second half - not winning the game. We thought it was gone when you're 31-7 down.

"But it's amazing what can happen in a game of rugby. Momentum can swing and we can get confidence and take the game to the opposition like we did in the second half.

"Ultimately, we're the team that's really disappointed to have drawn the game."

Outlining his half-time team talk, Townsend added: "We talked about winning the second half and coming out with respect. How we did that was to stick with the tactics."

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