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

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