Patience is a virtue not often shown in international rugby, so Ali Price was delighted when his side bided their time before seizing the moment to strike against Italy.
Scotland eventually emerged 17-0 victors against the Azzurri in Rome, but had to dig in for the win as Italy made life hard for the visitors, asking several pertinent questions of their defence.
But scores from captain Stuart Hogg, centre Chris Harris and fly-half Adam Hastings eventually made sure of the result for Gregor Townsend’s charges, and scrum-half Price says that they did what was necessary.
“We ended up scoring a try on the back of patience which in international rugby you need to do,” Price said.
“People can get frustrated with the kicking that’s involved in these games, and where you play the game, but you have to build pressure on a team and get into the red zone.
“We knocked on or messed up three or four other opportunities to score and it’s a patience thing. The best teams in the world, when they get in the opposition 22, they come away with points.
“Sometimes that’s what it takes. If you’re not scoring first or second phase, or off a counter-attack like Hoggy’s try was, that’s what it takes to break down these teams, regardless of who you’re playing. So it was pleasing.”
And Price was also quick to praise his half-back partner Hastings, who crossed late on to seal Scotland’s first win of the Championship.
After slotting in for Finn Russell ahead of their Guinness Six Nations opener against Ireland, the fly-half has been a picture of composure, showing an old head on young shoulders.
“I thought again he did really well,” said Price. “There was a lot of pressure on him but so far he’s stood up to every challenge.
“It falls on both the half-backs, I think. In parts in the first half, we maybe got away from what we’ve done quite well, especially in the Ireland game, in terms of where we want to play the game. It was a pretty weird game in terms of how it flowed but Adam is doing a good job.
“His try shows you the kind of character he is. Off the tee he didn’t have his best day, and it would be easy for someone to go into their shell after that. But he kept plugging away and got his reward in the end.”