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Cusiter encouraged by Scotland showing
23 February 2004 08:31am
Scotland scrum-half Chris Cusiter claims England did not put them under too much pressure despite the world champions' 35-13 RBS 6 Nations Championship win at Murrayfield on Saturday.
But Cusiter said: "We defended well and I didn't think we were put under too much pressure."
Scotland did improve dramatically from their defeat in Wales, a lacklustre performance which Cusiter is confident will never be repeated.
"We have to keep on improving," he added. "I'm sure what happened the other week won't happen again.
"In comparison to last week this was a big step up, especially in the defence.
"Against Wales they cut us right open but this time we stuck to the game plan and England found it difficult to get through us.
"They had to go over the top, which is a good reflection of how we played against the best attacking side in the world.
"It was the same system but better applied. There were a lot of big hits and there was an edge to us out there."
Cusiter detests the sour taste of defeat - but he believes Saturday's performance has set the benchmark for a brighter future.
"I hate losing and I thought we could win this," he said. "We didn't win but we can still be proud of our performance.
"This was a big step up from last week's performance. We set the benchmark and we have to keep playing to that level.
"We have to keep that going and cut out the mistakes. If we can do that then we won't be far away."
Confidence is high and team-mate Tom Philip claimed that Scotland are "not too far off" England.
They produced a spirited display to frustrate the world champions at times and the Scotland youngster went as far to suggest that they had made giant steps.
Philip said: "We played very well and we showed a lot of courage.
"They found it hard to break the defence down. They started kicking over the top which is a big compliment to us.
"They are the world champions and we did well to stop them to a certain extent.
"But that's what makes a good team. They can change it to suit them and change the game.
"We didn't perform as well as we hoped last week but we have taken a big leap.
"We felt that the game this week could have been won and we know that we are not too far off the world champions."
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