Scotland now have rare chance to build on a week one Six Nations victory
Saturday’s 11-6 win was their first on the ground since 1983 and was only the fourth time the Scots have opened their campaign with a victory since the Championship expanded to six teams in 2000.
Next up is Wales, who will visit BT Murrayfield on Saturday with a spring in their step following their 21-16 win over Ireland in Cardiff.
“We now have an opportunity that we’ve seldom had in the Six Nations – to build on a week one victory,” said Townsend
“It’s a quick turnaround and we’ll be well prepared for Wales. That will become our focus from Monday morning.”
It took Scotland until 2006 to win on the first weekend of the Six Nations and on that occasion they defeated France under Frank Hadden and went on to finish third. It remains the equal highest placing achieved by a Scottish side since they clinched the final Five Nations title in 1999.
Further opening-week wins were achieved in 2017, over Ireland, and two years ago against Italy. This year is the first time Scotland have won on the first weekend away from home, a significant marker given the wretched record at Twickenham.
Townsend has acclaimed Saturday’s result as one of the finest in Scotland’s history but the coach also stressed the need for the players and staff to stay grounded, a point also made by captain Stuart Hogg.
“Hoggy mentioned that to the players already in the post-match huddle,” said Townsend.
“We’ve got a couple of days to get our feet back on the ground – but we want to enjoy the moment. These don’t come around very often.
“I’m hoping people all over Scotland – in their living rooms, because they won’t be in rugby clubs – enjoyed it with their families.”
Asked about Scotland’s title chances, Townsend said: “I don’t think we’ll be the favourites for the title. We certainly weren’t the favourites going into Twickenham for a one-off game, never mind the Championship.
“France now, I’m sure, everyone will be picking them as the favourites.”
The French, who were pipped for the title last season by England, defeated Italy 50-10 in Rome on Saturday.
“We have to improve from Saturday,” Townsend added. “There were a lot of good things to build on – but there is still a lot to improve, because the Six Nations is five one-off games against great teams. We know Wales will be very good next week.”
The coach said his squad came through Saturday relatively unscathed.
“Jamie Ritchie was just tightening up a bit,” he said of the flanker. “Both him and [winger] Sean Maitland were just feeling a bit of tightness in the lower body, having not played much rugby.
“But both should hopefully be OK for next week.”