Robinson coy on future
March 15, 2012
Andy Robinson's future remains unclear © Getty Images
Scotland head coach Andy Robinson insists the upcoming match against Italy is his sole focus amid suggestions he might resign after the Six Nations.
Robinson has been in charge since 2009 and is contracted until the 2015 World Cup, but prior to his third Six Nations in charge made it clear he was determined for Scotland to shed their "unlucky losers tag". Scotland are seeking to improve a record of 11 losses in 14 Six Nations matches under Robinson and avoid a first whitewash since 2004 and the extension of the winless run to seven matches - something which would be the worst sequence since 1998.
"I've got a contract to 2015. I just focus on this next game," Robinson told Press Association Sport. "I've just got to look at the way we're trying to play, focus on the team and that's the big thing for me.
"Everybody's frustrated, everybody's disappointed about the losses and the manner of the losses, but also there is a confidence and an inner strength among the team."
Following the lacklustre showing in the 32-14 loss in Dublin, Robinson has demanded an improved display in Rome, where Scotland last won in 2006 - one of two wins in the Eternal City since Italy joined the Six Nations in 2000.
"We've worked well this week," Robinson said. "There have been a number of things we needed to sort out. Our defence - the opportunities we gave Ireland in the first half, the softness of the scores - was hugely disappointing. It really undermined our performance.
"A lot of our attacking shape was very good. We were able to create things, it's about taking them. When you do get your chances and you do get three points or five points, it's about making sure the opposition don't go up the other end of the field and score. That's what we got wrong."
Like Scotland, the Azzurri have been beaten by England, Wales, France and Ireland in the tournament. Italy's only previous home game this season was the 19-14 loss to England and Robinson is wary.
"They're a team that has been developing," said Robinson. "They will want to get a win out of the championship, as we do. There will be two desperate sides to win the game. They want to defend their own territory and they do it with real pride.
"You're going to be tested physically by the Italian front five, their back row are skilful and good in the air, but also the Italians have been developing their back play.
"Whilst it's probably not been seen yet, they have some dangerous runners and good finishers. We go into every game expecting to win and working to win and believing we have the game if we perform at our very best.
"We've not been at our very best in every single game and that's why we've not won the games. It's about putting in an 80-minute performance."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter