Scotland not phased by underdog status

Scotland celebrate their win over Samoa
Scotland celebrate their win over Samoa

Gordon Reid has said that Scotland have been happy to adopt the label of ‘underdogs’ ahead of their quart-final tie with Australia at Twickenham on Sunday.

General consensus is that Australia, who emerged as winners of this year’s ‘Pool of Death’, are heavy favourites for the weekend’s clash especially since Scotland have not made the semi-finals of the World Cup for 24 years. 

But Glasgow prop Reid is refusing to write off his team and has taken heart from the underdog tales which have inspired so many movie classics.

He said: "It would mean everything to get that chance to play this weekend. The win against Samoa in our final group match and even just being there to have those memories was amazing.

"It's not just any team we are up against this weekend, it's Australia - one of the biggest teams in the world.

"But we've got a bit of belief about us now. Our first objective was to get through to the quarters and now it's knock-out rugby. Anything can happen.

"Everyone is writing us off as underdogs. I don't care. It's awesome. Just look at the movies. It's always the underdog who wins - just look at the Mighty Ducks.

"We can be those Mighty Ducks.

"This is the position we relish being in. Hopefully we can go out and do ourselves proud at Twickenham."

Scotland were the recipients of the wooden spoon at this year’s RBS 6 Nations failing to win a single game, but responded admirably in their return to international competition. Despite a shellacking at the hands of South Africa who topped the pool, Scotland were able to convincingly dispatch Japan, the USA and Samoa to ensure they finished a reasonable second to set up a tie with Australia.

The battle with the Pacific Islanders of Samoa in Newcastle last weekend will have particularly served to solidify the Scottish resolve as they found a way to win despite shipping four tries in a thrilling encounter.

And wing Tommy Seymour added that although the performance at St. James’ Park was not perfect, it has reinforced a sense of confidence and tenacity in the Scottish camp.

"The belief is there in the squad," the Glasgow flyer stressed. "I though it was there before the World Cup too.

"We came off the back of a Six Nations we weren't happy with. Were we shaken by that? There was certainly a knock and a disappointment after it.

"Unfortunately the way the world works is that if you don't put results in, the doubters come in and want to have their say. You can't throw it back in their face because results are there in black and white. There's no ambiguity.

"We had to win a different way against Samoa compared to the wins over Japan and US. It was a narrow margin but that certainly does help create a psyche where you become aware of the ability in yourself to win tight games.

"So going up against Australia, we know it's going to be a hugely physical game and one we will have to be at our peak to win.

Scotland struggled to impose themselves against a physically dominant Springbok XV a fortnight ago and the task is no less daunting as they prepare to face a Wallabies side who have conceded only a single try in four games so far.

But Seymour - the Scots' top try scorer with three - said: "I certainly think we have got the players to break them down.

"We have already scored a lot of tries in the competition so far so there is no reason why we can't.

"With the preparation that goes into our week we feel we will be able to implement certain things that will get us across the whitewash."