Robinson pleased with scrappy win
August 6, 2011
Geoff Cross was the anchor in the Scottish scrum on Saturday © Getty Images
Scotland boss Andy Robinson insisted he was happy with his sides performance despite having to rely on a late Joe Ansbro try to overcome Ireland 10-6 at Murrayfield on Saturday.
Despite the scrappy nature of the game, Robinson was pleased with their win despite struggling to despatch an experimental Ireland side after creating several opportunities. Italy in a fortnight is the only other match preparation they have for the World Cup, while Ireland face three further international warm-up fixtures.
"I still consider two games to be enough. Everyone will do their preparation differently," said Robinson. "For me it's about who you pick for these games that's important. What's key for us is that we are able to peak when we play Romania and Georgia in our pool and that's what our focus is. We want to have a starting XV ready to deliver in those games.
"I've taken the decision to play just two games. It means our training sessions in the lead-up to the second game will be a lot more full-on and livelier for a bit longer, but we're in control of that. I find when you're playing Tests that you're out of control with some of the hits that are going on, so I'm very happy with just having the two games."
Robinson was surprisingly upbeat after a 28,288 crowd at Murrayfield endured a largely dismal spectacle on a surprisingly cold afternoon. Scotland made a lively start and some of their approach play was encouraging, but their usual shortcoming of fluffing their lines close to the whitewash was evident.
"There are a number of issues to go over but we're delighted with the execution of the play that led to our try," said Robinson. "It was absolutely spot-on in really intense conditions and with the rain starting to fall. It was brilliant for that to happen.
"We'll celebrate that and what happened in the first 20 minutes. We ran with good structure and made some line breaks. We didn't score from them and we need to look at our finishing, but it's very pleasing that Ireland didn't score a try.
"But we know we must improve our line speed and the physicality of our defence."
Captain Rory Lawson took heart in Scotland's creativity as he said: "We showed today we have the ability to break down a very strong defence.
"We had a handful of clean line breaks and while it was frustrating not to finish them off it, we have something to build on. We'd have been a lot more frustrated if we came out of the game having not created those opportunities."
Winger Nikki Walker was substituted early in the game after taking a bang to his head, but Robinson insisted there is no concern over the injury. Meanwhile Scotland prop Geoff Cross did his World Cup hopes a world of good with a solid performance resulting in him being named man-of-the-match.
"It's (World Cup) a once-in-a-lifetime chance," Cross told BBC2. "Competition has increased all over the squad and I was looking to put down a marker today It was our first hit out and it was but we're proud of the fitness we've shown today. Yes it was a World Cup warm-up but a win is the first thing."
Ireland coach Declan Kidney, who reported no injury concerns from the match, struggled to look beyond the scoreline. "We're very disappointed to concede the late score that cost us the result. When you pull on a Test jersey the final score is what you looking for," he said. "We play to win and we came off second best. We got things out of the game like match time for some players, but we lost the match.
"We'll get better as these warm-up games go on. We've been here before."
Rob Kearney, making his comeback from the knee injury sustained last November, finished the match. "Completing 80 minutes will have done his confidence a lot of good. He's been motoring in training," said Kidney.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
He teed up Obolensky's try, fought in Burma and played cricket for Warwickshire - we Rewind to look at the story of Peter Cranmer
With the World Cup just a year away, Tom Hamilton picks out five matches to ensure you have tickets for
Ahead of November's USA-All Blacks match, America's ESPN Magazine explains rugby to its readers who may not be familiar with the game
Tom Hamilton talks to World Cup-winning captain John Smit about life after rugby, his fears over the South African exodus and the World Cup