Johnnie Beattie takes the positives out of Scotland's summer tour of South Africa
Last Updated: 24/06/13 4:23pm
Johnnie Beattie: Admits the trip away wasn't all about getting results
Johnnie Beattie feels Scotland will benefit greatly from their summer tour of South Africa after finishing on a high with victory over Italy.
Alasdair Strokosch grabbed a last-ditch try at Loftus Versfeld Stadium to secure a narrow 30-29 win over the Azzurri, meaning they end the Quad Series in third place.
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However just as important as the result, which came after a first ever defeat to Samoa and a brave loss at the hands of the tournament hosts, was the fact that interim coach Scott Johnson gave 10 players their first taste of international action during the trip.
"The main thing was to try and win the three games we had but we were also there to broaden our base of players and introduce some young kids into the squad. Individually, it was important to see how those boys got on," Beattie said.
"As Johnno said we were happier with our performance against South Africa but lost the game. We won against Italy but were disappointed with our performance.
"We got one victory in the end but it was more important to see how those guys got on. That was where the value of the tour was."
Peter Horne was one of those to make his debut, though his delight was cut short when he ruptured knee ligaments against the Springboks.
Yet Beattie feels the fresh faces have been welcome additions for the Scots, who next play Tests against Japan, South Africa and Australia in November.
"I thought the boys who got their chance did fantastic. The main positive for the tour for me was getting to know different people on a personal level, but also seeing how they got on in a Test environment," he added.
"It gives Johnno and the coaching team lots of different options looking ahead to the World Cup. We were tested by injuries quite severely but the boys who did get their chance stuck their hands up well.
"There are big opportunities to come back and beat some big nations in the Autumn internationals. But it will be more difficult too as there is more competition in a few different position and it will be harder to get in the side."