Robinson hails Scotland win
March 19, 2011
Richie Gray competes for a lineout with Sergio Parisse © Getty Images
Andy Robinson praised the determination of his side as Scotland finished the Six Nations with a flourish and avoided the wooden spoon with a 21-8 victory over Italy at Murrayfield on Saturday.
Nick De Luca scored Scotland's first try at Murrayfield since November 2009 and Nikki Walker added another in the same corner as the hosts crossed for two touchdowns in quick succession early in the second-half, turning the game in their favour.
"That's what we're here for, to win games of rugby - I thought we got our just rewards today from our endeavour to move our game forward," he said. "I'm not going to hide away from the fact we were disappointed coming to the end of the Championship not having won a game, as we did last year.
"It's something we've got to look at for the start of the next Championship. I believe the players have given everything and it's about the small margins. We can't allow ourselves to come into the last game and get a win. We need to win earlier in the Championship.
Scotland's set-piece struggled early in the tournament, but the forwards dominated against a powerful Italian pack. Man of the Match Richie Gray was particularly impressive in the lineout.
"I thought Richie Gray on the opposition ball was fantastic," he said. "Al [Kellock, the Scotland captain] said to me he didn't call one lineout for Richie because he was winning too much on the opposition ball. But that's down to homework. The guys have put a lot of work in."
Scotland's scrum disintegrated all too often in previous matches, resulting in costly penalties and Robinson was pleased with the improvement.
"We changed the hit which was important and led to the eight scrummaging together," he said. "I've been seeing improvements throughout the Championship."
Italy head coach Nick Mallett denied his side struggled to raise their game for a second time in seven days. "I don't think mentally we were out of this game, we badly wanted to win," he said. "At half-time there was no problem at all. What changed the game was the two mistakes we made on attacking. The game turns on small things. It was a very disappointed changing room afterwards."
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