Robinson rues costly turnovers
February 5, 2011
Maxime Medard scored France's first © Getty Images
Scotland coach Andy Robinson called for his side to develop a killer instinct following Saturday's 34-21 Six Nations loss to France at the Stade de France.
Tries from captain Alastair Kellock, Kelly Brown and Sean Lamont were in vain as France coasted home with four scores of their own after taking advantage of sloppiness from the visitors.
Maxime Medard, Imanol Harinordoquy and Damien Traille all crossed the Scottish line while referee Wayne Barnes also awarded the hosts a penalty try.
"I was delighted with the attitude that was shown today and the way we went out to play the game, but we're here to win Test matches and we've got to have a ruthless edge about the way that we play," he said.
"For France to score four tries from our turnovers is not good enough. But if we can show the composure on the ball and still play with the same attitude we will be a good side."
France's penalty try came after a succession of collapsed scrums and Robinson had no complaints with Wayne Barnes' decision.
"We have a lot of respect for the French scrum - I believe they're the best scrum in the world - and it was a tough day for the guys. If I was on the other side I would have been screaming for a penalty try," the former England boss said.
Robinson wasn't just impressed by France's set-piece, he was also left in awe of their remarkable ability to turn defence into attack in a split-second.
"They dominated us at the scrum and in their attacking play from turnovers. Their counter attack was very fast and very skilful," he said. "If you give them the freedom that we gave them from our turnovers they are a fantastic side; it was shown there today."
Indeed, while Robinson believes that his side showed enough over the course of the 80 minutes in Saint Denis to suggest that they will have a major say in the outcome of this year's Championship, his overriding emotion was of one of disappointment.
"There are a lot of positives to come out of this and that's what I said to the team," he said. "But we're not here to be unlucky losers and that's what we have to underline about the way we play the game."
Robinson's sentiments were echoed by his skipper. Kellock's try was his first for his country but he said: "It was some consolation but I'd rather score my first try when we win. The effort was absolutely outstanding but unfortunately you don't get any points for effort.
"They scored good tries but you can't give the ball away, especially when France attack like that. They were extremely clinical. It's the first game of the Championship, we've got to make sure we take big strides forward for next week."
Les Bleus coach Marc Lievremont had come under pressure following the loss to Australia and was relieved with the victory. "This is exactly the kind of match we were expecting, I'm very happy. It was a victory first of all and you can imagine it wasn't easy preparation.
"We did master this game but we must admit we had a few mistakes which the Scots were able to take advantage of. The Scots were always in the game, even though we were ahead."
Captain Thierry Dusautoir said, "Two months ago we were all very worried. We all had pin-pointed February 5 and this game. "We tried to forget everything, we just focused on the victory and the game. We were very pleased with the result. We knew the Scottish team was going to be difficult and we are very satisfied with the result."
Lievremont revealed Maxime Mermoz is likely to miss next week's match with Ireland after going off with a shoulder injury after 45 minutes.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The latest Week in Pictures takes in all the action from the weekend when rugby united behind Samoa
England broke their losing streak, but this was not them clawing their way back among the best, writes Tom Hamilton
Wales' lessons to learn in defeat by New Zealand are almost exactly the same as those from previous near-misses, writes Huw Richards
Scrum Sevens takes a wander down memory lane and celebrates seven examples of Pacific Islands magic