Rugby World Cup 2023: Finn Russell on Scotland defeat to South Africa

Finn Russell
South Africa proved too strong for Scotland in the second half

2023 Rugby World Cup

Hosts: France Dates: 8 September to 28 October

Coverage: Full commentary of every game across BBC Radio 5 Live, Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and Radio Scotland, plus text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app.

Scotland failed to "show a true reflection" of themselves after being dominated by South Africa in their Rugby World Cup opener, says fly-half Finn Russell.

The Scots went in at half-time in Marseille just 6-3 down.

However, they failed to add a single point after the break as the Springboks moved through the gears to comfortably win 18-3.

"Very frustrated with the result but also the second half," Russell said.

"I don't think we showed a true reflection of the team that we are.

"We had a 10-minute period that we let South Africa get two tries so we'll probably chat among the players about how we can get better and come out firing straight away so that doesn't happen again.

"As frustrated as we are, there is a lot to work on and still everything to play for."

Despite the setback of a defeat in their tournament opener, Russell remains confident Scotland can recover to make it out of their pool, with matches against Tonga, Romania and Ireland to come.

"This was potentially the situation we were going to be in after the first game," Russell said.

"Ideally it wouldn't have been, but now we're in this situation we just need to pick ourselves back up, we need to get going.

"We've got Tonga then Romania so we need to go into these games as best prepared as we can and looking to play as best we can.

"We've got everything to play for now and to an extent nothing to lose. As tough as it is to take, in sport you have to bounce back as quickly as you can and I think the boys will do that."

Russell received treatment twice during the game at Stade Velodrome, but says he has no injury concerns going into the next match against Tonga in Nice in two weeks' time.

"I'm all right," said Russell, who will play his club rugby for Bath next season.

"I got a shot in the ribs and I think I was just pretty badly winded thankfully. I'll be good to go in the next game."

Across the BBC banner
Across the BBC banner
Across the BBC footer
Across the BBC footer