Hastings wants more from Scotland

19 March 2018 06:54:57 EST
Sean Maitland scored one of Scotland's tries in Italy.

Scotland have to be more clinical if they are to regularly compete with the top-tier nations, according to former centre Scott Hastings.

Gregor Townsend's men recorded home victories over France and England in the Six Nations but struggled away from Murrayfield, losing comfortably to both Wales and Ireland.

Although they defeated Italy in the final round - albeit narrowly - Hastings believes that Townsend's side need to find more consistency if they are to challenge the better teams frequently.

"Unfortunately, if you've got chances against the top nations in the world and you fail to take them, you can't win games of international rugby," he said.

"Scotland just don't have that clinical edge within their high tempo, high risk type of fluency within their game.

"They're just going to have to strike that balance when they take on teams. They have to understand when they get the chances, they need to take them."

With Scotland searching for consistency, Hastings believes that the team need to improve their decision-making of when to run and when to kick.

He added: "I think everyone recognises that Scotland have turned this corner and they are becoming a competitive team, but I think we've yet to find out how to manage a game.

"It's about getting that balance and game-management. They've got to bring in a more accurate kicking game, the pick and drive play, so these things have to be worked on. It's encouraging but I still appreciate that we're a long way off."

Scotland are 14/1 to win the 2019 Six Nations title outright, while Ireland can be backed at 4/5, Wales at 9/2 and France at 14/1.

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