Coaches getting best out of Scotland, says Neil Jenkins
SCOTLAND have flourished since Newport Gwent Dragons consultant Dean Ryan joined forces with former Wales and Ospreys boss Scott Johnson, according to Neil Jenkins.
After a tricky start away to England, losing 38-18 at Twickenham, the Scots are enjoying a promising Six Nations campaign with successive wins over Italy and Ireland.
It’s a far cry from November when Andy Robinson ended his three-and-a-half year tenure as Scotland head coach when he resigned after his side’s shock 21-15 defeat to Tonga.
Johnson has taken over as interim chief, former England back rower and respected broadcaster Ryan joining his staff as forwards coach for the Six Nations.
Scotland’s players are playing with smiles on their faces and will be more than worthy opponents when they clash with a resurgent Welsh team at Murrayfield on March 9, Wales kicking coach Jenkins believes.
“With the new set-up they’ve got there, I think the environment they are in at the moment is quite a happy one,” he said.
“They seem to be enjoying their football. That’s nothing against Andy Robinson – I think he is a fantastic coach. Johnno has done certain things since he has been there full-time and it seems to show in the way they are playing the game.
“Watching the England game, it was a pretty entertaining match – they were chucking the ball around, trying to play from their own goal line from turnovers.
“It was a couple of points they were down towards the end and they were still trying to play.”
Jenkins thinks Wales will have to be on their guard against the attacking threat of full back Stuart Hogg and wings Sean Maitland and Tim Visser.
“I think when we play them, any turnovers, they are looking to put ball through hand,” Wales’ record points scorer said.
“They’ve got a very good back three and their backs in general seem to be playing pretty well.
“I think the most important thing is, you’ve got to enjoy your football and back yourself and it looks like they are doing that.
“And with Dean’s involvement with the forwards, they seem to be doing that as well.”