Ali Price has backed Scotland half-back partner Adam Hastings to grasp the learning experience from his first Test against a Six Nations rival.
Hastings, son of former Scotland and British & Irish Lions captain Gavin Hastings, filled the fly-half role in a 21-10 defeat against Wales at the Principality Stadium.
He was at the heart of Scotland‘s improved second-half performance when they camped inside Wales’ 22 for long periods in an attempt to claw back the deficit.
Principal playmaker Finn Russell looks set to return from club duty in France for next weekend’s Murrayfield appointment with Fiji, but Hastings showed his aptitude for international rugby on only a fourth Scotland appearance.
“He will learn a hell of a lot from that,” Scotland scrum-half Price said. “I thought he did pretty well.
“Maybe in the first half, I could have taken more onus on kicking, but you learn every time you play. For a first real Test for Adam, he came through.
“I thought he grew into the game. We managed to play with a lot of ball down in the (Wales) 22, and I think different games require different ways to play.”
Scotland’s loss was their 10th successive away reversal against Wales – they have not won in Cardiff since 2002 – as first-half tries from Lions stars George North and Jonathan Davies underpinned another Welsh success.
“We came in at half-time and were four points down, but we were right in the game,” Price added.
“In the second half, I thought we grew into the game. Twice we crossed the (Wales) line and it didn’t go our way.
“The little inaccuracies in the final third, on another day, would have gone our way and we would have potentially won the match. It was frustrating at times.”
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend now has autumn games against Fiji, South Africa and Argentina to prepare for, with personnel changes likely next Saturday.
Townsend said: “That was our first time together since Argentina in June, so the accuracy at the beginning was not where we wanted it to be – our depth, especially with forward runners off Adam Hastings, and a couple of our running lines – but we got better at it.
“We have another week in training, and it will be a different focus next week as Fiji offer different challenges.
“They have huge threats off turnover ball, the best individual players one on one in the world, but there will be a chance for us to play a game we believe can put them under pressure.”
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