Petrie eyes bigger challenge
June 14, 2000
Emerging Scotland star Jon Petrie today warned his team-mates they will have to treble their efforts on Saturday if they are to pull off a shock victory against the New Zealand Maori.
The Glasgow Caledonians number eight turned in an outstanding display in his first senior start yesterday as the tourists comfortably defeated an East Coast-Poverty Bay combination side 51-10 in Gisborne.
But the former Dundee HSFP player is under no illusions as to how much tougher the challenges become over the next ten days for Ian McGeechan's squad.
They travel across the North Island to their next base in New Plymouth today, where they take on a New Zealand Maori side undefeated in five years on Saturday.
Scotland have already been given next to no chance of ending that run by a sceptical Kiwi public, or of troubling the All Blacks in the first of two Tests a week later.
Petrie admits that a considerable improvement will be required against a Maori side containing recent All Blacks such as Adrian Cashmore, Daryl Gibson, Caleb Ralph, Greg Feek and captain Norm Hewitt.
``We are still making a lot of mistakes and we have really got to tighten up at the breakdown against the Maoris and the All Blacks, because we won't be able to get away with what we are doing at the moment against them,'' said Petrie.
``But we are treating it as a third Test match and we know they are a strong side, so the boys won't have any trouble getting themselves be up for it on Saturday.
``What we have got to do is put in an 80-minute performance because if you relax for a minute against these sides, they will kill you.
``We are going to have to step up another two or three gears for Saturday.''
The uncapped Petrie did his prospects of being involved in the serious business of the tour no harm at all with a commanding all-round display against the Poverty Bay selection, regularly breaking the line with a series of powerful charges.
The 23-year-old admits he was happy just to be in McGeechan's New Zealand party after a promising debut season as a full-time professional with the Reds, but is already broadening his horizons for the remainder of the tour.
He added: ``I never had any illusions as to my involvement, and I was just glad to get on the tour in the first place.
``But I promised myself that if I did play then I was going to push hard for a place.
``There was no point in coming if I didn't believe I had a chance of getting into the Saturday sides, so we will see what happens.
``But for my first big match, I was really happy and I couldn't really have hoped for better.''