Scotland wing Sean Maitland is in no doubt about the importance of Sunday’s Six Nations clash against France (at 10pm Cambodian time), labelling the Murrayfield match a “must-win” game for both sides.
The Scots entered the tournament with high hopes after a promising November campaign, only to be overwhelmed 34-7 by Wales in a lopsided opener in Cardiff last weekend.
France too were beaten first-time out, although in their case they suffered the agony of succumbing to a last-ditch Johnny Sexton drop-goal against Ireland in Paris, when it seemed they would give Jacques Brunel a win in his first game as boss of Les Bleus.
It’s a moot point which of the two teams now feel more deflated – Scotland for being thoroughly outplayed in a game where they were almost “nilled” or France for having victory snatched from their grasp at the finish.
“[France] were very unlucky,” Maitland, in line to replace the injured Byron McGuigan, said on Wednesday.
“If you take a spanking or lose like that, I’m not sure how you’d like to lose – those [French] boys looked like they were hurting after the game. They’re in a similar situation to us, both picked up losses first up and we can’t afford to lose a second game.”
The New Zealand-born flyer, who plays his club rugby for European champions Saracens, added: “We know this is a really important game. The good thing for us is we’re playing at home, our form over the last two years has been really good playing at home.
“It’s a must-win game.”