Beattie braced for battle

Scotland back-rower facing toughest test yet in Dublin

Last Updated: 15/03/10 6:54pm

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Beattie: Ready for big test

Beattie: Ready for big test

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Johnnie Beattie says Scotland's back row is braced for the fight of their lives in Dublin in Saturday's final RBS SIX Nations match.

The all-Glasgow back row of Beattie, John Barclay and Kelly Brown have taken the Six Nations by storm since starting together for the first time in the tournament opener against France.

However, they face their toughest test yet at Croke Park on Saturday as they face up against Stephen Ferris, David Wallace and Jamie Heaslip with the Scots searching for a first win of the campaign.

Brown will need to pass cognitive tests following his sickening clash of heads with Ugo Monye during Saturday's draw with England at Murrayfield.

Scotland team doctor James Robson said of Brown: "Kelly is now subject to the usual return to play protocols that are in place following such an injury.

"He will be monitored on a daily basis."

Hopeful

Beattie will earn his 12th cap and first against Ireland and he is hopeful Brown is fit for the trio to start together for the fifth consecutive game.

"It's been huge for me to be given a chance to play and take part in this championship," said Beattie. "I was nervous before it and you never know how it's going to go.

"Myself, Kelly and John are pleased with the way things are going and we just want it to continue as long as we can and keep giving everything to it.

"We know that the Irish back row's up there probably with the best in the world so it's another massive challenge if we get given the chance."

Beattie believes there are plenty of positives to take into the Ireland game as Scotland seek the victory required to avoid the wooden spoon.

Scoring

Just as they did against Wales, Scotland dominated England for large spells, and while Beattie was pleased with their defensive efforts he knows they need to start putting more points on the board.

"I thought our defence was better," he said. "We've been broken on the fringes of our defence out wide by being too tight.

"It's a really simple thing but I thought we did that better. We managed to put them under pressure out wide and there were quite a few dominant hits, which was really encouraging.

"It's the next couple of phases after the line break that you're going to score your tries. If we can keep ball a little bit better and engineer a couple more things, we'll be more dangerous."

Prop Euan Murray and centre Nick De Luca (both shoulder bruising), wing Max Evans (leg bruising), full-back Hugo Southwell (calf) and stand-off Phil Godman (shoulder joint/chest wall bruising) were also receiving treatment ahead of the game.

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