EDINBURGH – Scotland star Huw Jones has said the side must build on their solid form at Murrayfield by improving a woeful away record if they are serious about winning the Six Nations title.
The centre scored two tries as Scotland beat arch-rivals and reigning champions England 25-13 in Edinburgh on Saturday to lift the Calcutta Cup for the first time in a decade.
Gregor Townsend’s side have won eight of their last nine Tests at Murrayfield, the only defeat in that sequence a heartbreaking 22-17 loss to world champions New Zealand in November.
That run also includes a come-from-behind 32-26 over France in the second round of this season’s Six Nations.
But it’s been a different story on the road for the Scots.
It is eight years since Scotland last won an away Six Nations match anywhere other than Rome, when they beat Ireland 23-20 in Dublin in 2010.
A Dublin date with Ireland, who top this season’s table with a perfect record of three wins from three matches, lies in wait for Scotland when they resume their Six Nations campaign on March 10.
Scotland entered this season’s competition as an outside bet for the title, only to suffer a chastening 34-7 first-up loss to Wales in Cardiff.
Overwhelmed by all the support and messages I’ve received. Huge effort from the boys made for an amazing day. The atmosphere at Murrayfield the best I’ve experienced, unreal! @Scotlandteam #CalcuttaCup pic.twitter.com/cFFAavrOsu
Jones, who has scored 10 tries in just 14 Tests, was well aware of the task facing Scotland for all their collective brilliance against England.
“This game is obviously a massive confidence-booster,” said the 24-year-old. “We’re under no illusions, we’ve got a really tough away game.”
The Glasgow midfielder added: “We’ve turned Murrayfield into a bit of a fortress now. I think in our last nine games, we’ve lost one, and that was a real close one.
“If we’re going to become a really great team, we’re going to have to start winning away, which we haven’t really done for a while. That next game is a massive Test, and that’s what we’re thinking about now.”
What a day pic.twitter.com/pGjPj3qOq6
Jones reckons Scotland will have to raise their game further if they are to defeat the in-form Irish. “A lot of people will say England maybe didn’t have their best game, and if Ireland have their best game, it will be a much tougher game.
“Going over there, whatever we did today, we’ll have to up that performance.”
Scotland’s triumph on Saturday was especially satisfying for those members of the side involved in last season’s embarrassing 61-21 thrashing by England at Twickenham.
“You could see before the game how much it meant to the guys that have been around for a while, Barcs (John Barclay) and Greig (Laidlaw),” said Jones.
“To see their faces after the game and how much it meant to them... it means the world to all of us, but those guys that have been around for a while and had some not-so-good times in a Scotland shirt, it’s massive for them,” he added.