Former captain Gavin Hastings is “amazed” that Scotland haven’t won in Cardiff since 2002 – but believes the current squad will win against Wales if they play to their potential.
“It seems an incredibly long time ago,” said Gavin. “This year, it’s not like they’re going to a place they’ve never been before.
“All you can do in the build-up to the game is prepare as best you can and hopefully when the game starts you perform very, very well.
“I have no doubt that if Scotland play to their potential they will win the game on Saturday. I genuinely believe that because they are very much good enough to win the game.
“I’m amazed we haven’t won there since 2002. Let’s try and right that record.”
No talk of Slams or Championships
— Scottish Rugby (@Scotlandteam) January 31, 2022
The full-back legend and brother Scott were relaunching the Grand Slam Dinner, when both 1984 and 1990 Scotland teams will come together to raise funds for Hearts + Balls, the charity for rugby players who have sustained life-changing injuries.
The dinner was originally planned for 2020, the 30th anniversary of the 1990 Grand Slam in which both the Hastings played, but postponed because of the pandemic. It’s been rescheduled for the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on May 21 this year.
There should be no talk of Grand Slams, Championships or anything other than the next game, despite the euphoria of the win over England on Saturday, agreed the brothers.
“We can’t get carried away. It’s just about Saturday. We’ve started off well, but let’s keep our feet on the ground. We’ve beaten England, we beat them last year, but we didn’t win anything else last year.”
Scott said one of the main traits of the Grand Slam teams was they never looked too far ahead.
“Nobody was thinking too far ahead, it was literally the next game,” he said. “They just concentrated on what was in front of them next. Nobody got carried away.”
Gavin impressed with Stuart Hogg maturity
But both brothers are thrilled and excited with Saturday’s victory, with Gavin particularly impressed with his successor as captain and at 15, Stuart Hogg.
“He has really matured into the role of captain,” continued Gavin. “He has learned over the years how to captain and not get too carried away emotionally.
“That for me was as impressive as how they came back. Feet firmly on the ground. They realise if they don’t get a victory on Saturday in all that excitement, all that adrenalin had been effectively for nothing.
“It is going to be very, very hard. Of course it is. But they will go there with their tails up and a lot of confidence.
“They will probably be favourites for Saturday. Eddie Jones made them favourites for Saturday last week and we came through that. Let’s just accept the fact we may be favourites, deal with it and come away with Cardiff with a victory.”
‘There will be a bounceback from Wales’
📽️ 𝐌𝐚𝐭𝐜𝐡 𝐇𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐥𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐬
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) February 5, 2022
Wales will be hurting after their loss in Ireland, and there will be a reaction, added Scott.
“They were outgunned by a superb Ireland team, they were caught in the headlights a bit,” he said. “But back in the Principality, with that atmosphere, they’re going to come into the game.
“They’ve got a lot of experience and there will be a bounce back, undoubtedly so. But there’s got to be some momentum with Scotland and they’ve got to put that team under pressure and turn the screw.
“There are times when you are in control in international rugby and times when you are not and when you’re not you’ve got to ensure your defensive systems are in place. But there’s a confidence there within Scotland that they must take through that full 80 minutes.”
Tickets for the Grand Slam Dinner are available here.