Samoa leaks will focus us for Kiwis
Taylor reckons Scots’ near-shock will help for All Blacks match
LEWIS HAMILTON has promised to end his championship-winning campaign with a bang after admitting he does not want the season to end.
Hamilton, crowned champion for a fourth time in Mexico last month, finished fourth at Interlagos on Sunday after a remarkable comeback drive from last on the grid.
The 32-year-old Briton, who has won on nine occasions this season, could be forgiven for having one eye on the winter break following his intense battle with Sebastian Vettel.
But Hamilton has no intention of taking his foot off the accelerator ahead of next Sunday’s season finale in Abu Dhabi.
“I am going to give it everything in Abu Dhabi,” Hamilton, who headed straight for New York after the conclusion of Sunday’s race, said.
“I love driving this year’s car, and I generally don’t like to wish time by.
“Jesus, I am at the back end of a career that can still be relatively long, so it is easy to wish days by, but I am happy to take my time.
“I don’t wish the winter break was here because before you know it, we will be into the next season.”
Hamilton will head to Los Angeles later this week before a trip to the Mercedes factory in Brackley ahead of the final race of the campaign.
SCOTLAND’S defence coach Matt Taylor took it personally as he watched the national team concede five tries to the world’s 16th ranked side on Saturday but he believes that performance will enhance their mindset ahead of this weekend’s visit of the All Blacks.
The former Glasgow Warriors assistant coach reckoned the opposition deserved considerable credit for embarrassing his men in getting within a score of creating a major upset at BT Murrayfield, going down 44-38 and he reckons they gave Scotland the fright they needed.
“People probably don’t give Samoa the credit in terms of the individual brilliance and how powerful athletes they are. Certainly I would rather be going into this game a wee bit worried rather than be overconfident,” he said.
“Certainly after the performance on the weekend from a defensive point of view, we all know that we’ve got to lift the intensity and be a lot better than we were, because it’s not good enough, particularly at home and I personally was very disappointed, as were the players. We’ve talked about that and a few of the leaders spoke about it today in the forwards meeting, so hopefully we’ll get a reaction.”
Saturday’s showing made for a difficult weekend on the domestic front, so he was glad that yesterday represented his first real chance to release his frustrations on those responsible.
“I take a lot of pride in what I do, representing Scotland,” said Taylor.
“I said to the players today JAMIE MURRAY’S ATP Finals bid began in defeat as he and partner Bruno Soares were beaten in a match tie-break by American duo Mike and Bob Bryan.
Murray and Soares trailed their distinguished opponents by a set and 4-1 at the O2 Arena, although only after a dramatic collapse that saw them spurn three set points and a 5-3 lead.
They fought back to take the second set but a topsy-turvy contest turned again in the deciding tie-break as the Bryans recovered to that when people come to the games to watch Scotland play at home they see a lot of themselves in the players and shipping five tries at home isn’t good enough.
“Unfortunately sometimes my family cops the brunt of the disappointment, but we’ve got another game this week.
“We’ll review the weekend, win 7-5 6-7 (3/7) 10-8.
Murray, sporting a Union Jack wristband, is the only British representative here while his younger brother Andy remains out injured and, but for an sudden lapse in concentration, this was a match he and Soares should have won.
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from the ATP Finals after being severely hampered by his knee injury during a three-set defeat to David Goffin.
Goffin beat the limping world number one 7-6 (7/5) 6-7 (4/7) 6-4 at London’s O2 we need to be better and then focus everything this afternoon on New Zealand going forward.
“I think we were all pretty disappointed with how we defended, particularly where, over the last six months, there’s been games where we’ve defended really like the Australia game, the Ireland game, so to let ourselves down at home was really disappointing.
“A few things we can probably put down to it being the first time together for a long time, different guys coming in from different systems. I’m in a different situation this year in that I’m not in control of Arena and, after the match, Nadal announced he would be pulling out of the tournament.
It is the sixth time Nadal has withdrawn from this competition in 13 years of qualifying and he will now be replaced by fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta.
Nadal’s problematic right knee had forced him out of the Paris Masters earlier this month.
The 31-year-old fought hard against Goffin and saved four match points in the second set, but he was visibly wincing in the decider. Glasgow so I don’t have as much time with the players, so it’s getting them on the same page as quickly as possible.
“The good thing about it is that we’ll be a hell of a lot better this weekend, but we’ll need to be because we’re under no illusions that unless we defend really well we’ll come second.”
He also suggested that because so much more is known about how the All Blacks play it may, in some ways, be more straightforward to prepare.
“The All Blacks will challenge in different areas form Samoa and Samoa challenged us in different ways that New Zealand mightn’t,” he said.
Scotland defence coach Matt Taylor says he took the Samoa tries personally