Respectful Scots eye big win
PA Sport
September 17, 2007

Forwards coach George Graham claims Scotland should "win handsomely" in tomorrow's Rugby World Cup clash against Romania at Murrayfield but insists there is no danger of underestimating the visitors.

Scotland have have not let Romania's performance in their 24-18 defeat to Italy in Pool C pass them by.

Nor have they ignored the potential, after Georgia came close to defeating Ireland on Saturday, for another huge shock in the pool stages.

But Scotland are a confident camp and have always expected to beat Romania, and that belief still looks unshakeable.

Graham said: ``I think every team is potentially a threat in the World Cup. It's a one-off thing and any team on any day can beat any other team.

``Having watched nearly every single match that has been played in the World Cup so far, the so-called minnows who have not been given much of a chance have all performed very, very well.

``I think that's down to them being given time together to work as a team.

``With a lot of the smaller teams their players tend to be scattered all over the world and I think the World Cup affords them time to get used to playing with each other, and that has been shown in the way they have pitted themselves against more organised teams.

``As for Romania, they are renowned for having a very good pack and being very good scrummagers.

``The fact that we have played them twice in the last two years, once quite recently in the autumn internationals, means we have a good understanding of what they are capable of, and we are very aware of how they going to pitch themselves against us.

``What I have said to the forwards is that this is a full Test. They'll give us a fair game and we have to be focused and play our game to get the right result.

``I think they'll take heart from the fact that other so-called minnow sides have had a chance of an upset. I don't see this game being an upset, but Ireland against Georgia was as close as you'll get to major shock.''

Graham was not concerned by the disruption caused through Scotland having to travel back from France yesterday.

They take on Romania and then face New Zealand on Sunday, before returning to France next Monday.

There have been voices within the Scotland camp expressing disappointment that they have had to leave the ongoing World Cup party behind, but the matches and the strong home support should make up for any lingering sense of longing for France.

Graham said: ``The only loss we have suffered since coming back over here is about 15 degrees in temperature.

``If anything it probably gives us a bit more of an edge because we're used to playing here, we're used to training here, this is our natural surroundings. We're very confident coming back here.

``We've had a fantastic week in St Etienne. We've trained very well. We identified the problems we felt we had against Portugal and we've worked hard to try and iron them out.

``I'm never one for predicting huge scores, but I think we'll win and I think we'll win handsomely.''

Since the 56-10 win over Portugal, it has been suggested that Scotland's top players might be afforded a rest after the Romania match, in preparation for the team's crucial encounter with Italy on September 29.

Graham refused to be drawn on the question of whether head coach Frank Hadden would consider picking a second-string side to face the All Blacks.

He said: ``As games are coming thick and fast, we've gone down the path of picking teams that we think will do a job for us.

``It's not a matter of resting this player and picking that player. We believe every one of our 30 players is very important and has a part to play.

``We're not resting players, we simply pick the team that we think is best for that game.

``I agree with Frank that the squads should be larger.

``We've had a few injuries, not too many, but given the enormity of the next two games we can't afford any more. We're the same as any other side - we just can't afford to pick up injuries in key positions.''

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