Scotland going back to basics
January 27, 2011
Andy Robinson will be working hard on Scotland's set-piece © PA Photos
Scotland boss Andy Robinson will go back to basics in hope of inspiring Scotland to an opening Six Nations victory over France on February 5.
The former England coach will be focusing on the set-piece and defence prior to the Stade de France showdown, where he wants to secure the Scots' first win in Paris since they lifted the final Five Nations title in 1999.
"My challenge is to make sure the way we set the team up is right and then that the players are at their best going into each game we play," he said. "The France game is the perfect challenge for that.
"Everybody's saying how unpredictable the French are, but we have huge respect for the way they play the game and the threats that they have. It's important when you haven't played together for a while that you get your fundamentals right.
"That's something we are focusing on, making sure our set-piece is very good and our defensive framework is set up. If we can do that I am confident we can perform. But if we're not at our best we'll get beat. Stade de France is a great place to play and whoever you play in your first game of the championship is going to be tough."
Robinson's men head to the French capital with wins in five of their last six Tests and a November scalp of the Springboks under their belts and he wants them to prove that they can compete at the sharp end on a regular basis.
"What our win against South Africa showed us is the level of performance we can get to," he said. "If you look through history Scotland have always been able to produce one-off performances. What we want is to be able to do it week after week."
France coach Marc Lievremont wants his side to draw a line under their November hammering at the hands of Australia and chose to remind their detractors of their Grand Slam in last season's tournament at the season launch in London.
"We cannot forget November and what happened, but we need to strike a balance between the good results at the start of 2010 and the disaster against Australia," he said. "We need to learn those lessons. It is not that everything is pink and everything is black.
"Scotland had good results last year. They played well against Wales, England and Ireland, certainly in June when they won in Argentina and they beat South Africa. It is important to make a good start."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"We know where we are going and we know where we want to get but how long that will take is anybody's guess." David Humphreys on his plans for Gloucester
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league
So much for the great Australian revival, writes Greg Growden. It now has the potential of going off the rails after the capitulation at Eden Park