SEAN Maitland reckons Scotland skipper Greig Laidlaw makes up for his lack of stature with the size of the chip on his shoulder.
Laidlaw steered Scotland to their first Six Nations success on an opening weekend since 2006 when they outgunned Ireland in a dramatic 27-22 victory on Saturday.
The scrum-half’s calm leadership – and two late penalties – in the closing stages allowed Vern Cotter’s men to earn the kind of narrow win that has eluded them in the past.
And Maitland, who produced two superb pieces of defence to halt certain Ireland tries in the second-half at BT Murrayfield, reckons the Scotland captain is small in size but big in heart.
The Saracens winger said: “Greig might be the smallest on the pitch but I can tell you he probably has the biggest chip on his shoulder, that’s for sure.
“He’s from the Borders, and they’re rugby mad down in the Borders in Scotland, and you can see that in his leadership.
“He does a lot of talking on the field and leads with the way he plays. He’s massive for us, with his leadership qualities.
“He’s really well respected in the group and obviously he’s an amazing goal-kicker as well. If we didn’t have him we probably wouldn’t have won.”
Scotland’s heartache in going down by one point against Australia in the 2015 World Cup quarter-final has been repeated on too many occasions in recent years, and it looked like being a familiar tale when Ireland came back to make it 22-21 in the second-half.
But a late rally, resulting in Laidlaw’s penalty with the last kick of the game, sparked wild celebrations and massive relief from Scotland and their supporters, who now travel to face France in Paris on Sunday in buoyant mood.
Speaking to the BBC, Maitland added: “I think big Vern [Cotter] was the happiest I’ve seen him – ever!
“In the past we’ve probably been guilty of not finishing those types of games off.
“So, it was good to be on the other side for once. To come back and find a way to win, was a great feeling.
“If we had lost the media probably would have been ‘same old Scotland’. Hopefully we can now push on.”