France 34-21 Scotland, Six Nations, Stade de France, February 5
Robinson targets ruthless streak
February 7, 2011
Scotland coach Andy Robinson commiserates with his players following their defeat in Paris © Getty Images
Scotland coach Andy Robinson insists that his side must discover a ruthless streak if they are to shed the tag of "unlucky losers".
Robinson saw his side outplayed by France on their way to a 34-21 defeat in Paris on Saturday but their three-try haul hinted at brighter days in their Six Nations campaign. However, the defeat frustrated the former England boss who acknowledged comparisons to their first away fixture in last year's Championship when an impressive Scotland performance ended with defeat at the hands of Wales.
"I feel this is a little bit of a similar experience to Cardiff; I really do," he told The Scotsman. "There is so much good about what we've done, but the feeling inside me is full of frustration and that little bit of passion that comes out of knowing that we have to have composure in the way that we play.
"I feel sorry for the boys because they put a lot of work in there but they were being punished for some key errors and we can't afford to make those errors. The scrum is one of the areas we'll look at, but it (the debrief] is going to centre on our turnovers. When you look at that scrum (that led to the penalty try], we turned over the lineout before it, which was disappointing, and we turned over two other balls and they scored very good tries.
"We got turned over or made mistakes between the two ten-metre lines, and that's where we have to be a bit more ruthless and understand when we have to get more territory. We had the French moving and had to be a little bit more accurate with our decisions on when to pick as opposed to carrying on running."
Despite the blow to their Championship hopes, Robinson believes there were plenty of plus points to reflect upon. "There were a lot of positives to take out of that game. We are trying to play here. We're trying to improve our game. At 24-14, we were moving the ball well, but that's where we needed the ruthless bit. If we'd scored there we'd have had them under real pressure. That's where it's very frustrating because we're not here to be unlucky losers, and that's something we have to underline."
"I am encouraged by the way the guys played and the attitude that was shown, but I say again: we're here to win and we're not going to be unlucky losers. That's not the way the team and I want to work. We're here to be ruthless in the way that we play."
His thoughts were echoed by No.8 Kelly Brown who crossed for one of his side's tries at the Stade de France. "There's a bit of frustration there; we played some very, very good stuff," he said. "Our attack at times was very good but we turned over too much ball and the French took full advantage.
"We take confidence from the things that went well and we look forward to Wales next week. We scored three tries in Paris and there's not many sides that come here and do that. We take confidence from that but we've got to look to tighten up on the things we need to tighten up on."
Scotland, who are set to name their team to face Wales on Wednesday, will monitor the fitness of Rory Lawson over the next 24 to 48 hours after the scrum-half was substituted for Mike Blair at the interval after damaging his lower back.
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
"People on the outside think unfounded thoughts on Toulon." Tom Hamilton talks to RCT lock Nick Kennedy ahead of Saturday's Heineken Cup final against Clermont
Will Genia should lead the Wallabies against the Lions, Joe Tomane to win the final wing spot and Israel Folau at fullback, writes Greg Growden
"Has there ever been such a large disconnect between France's club teams and the international side?" Ian Moriarty weighs up the state of French rugby
"By carrying a Great Britain label to the Antipodes, and getting beaten by the Kiwis, they established a tradition which has lasted to this day." Huw Richards rewinds to 1888