Evans shoulders blame for defeat
March 14, 2011
Evans crossed for a superb individual score against England at Twickenham © Getty Images
Scotland's Max Evans has admitted he was at fault for England's crucial try in their Six Nations victory at Twickenham on Sunday.
The 27-year-old winger's indecision allowed England flanker Tom Croft to power over late in the game to propel the hosts to an ugly 22-16 victory that leaves them on course for the Grand Slam.
The error blighted an otherwise excellent display from Evans who lit up the game with a superb solo score that dragged his side back into the contest. "It was just an error on my part," Evans admitted. "I should've trusted my inside man."
Evans was far less guilty than most of his team-mates, however, with Scotland's scrum and lineout proving their real Achilles heel. "Our defence was just immense," Evans said. "But the frustration is that set piece. To lose it so easily and on numerous occasions is just hugely frustrating, especially from a backs point of view."
Despite their deficiencies, Scotland were well in the game until John Barclay was sin-binned midway through the second half, with England scoring their try seconds before the flanker returned to the fray. Barclay was penalised for knocking the ball away as the home side attempted to recycle.
"From what I hear, the feeling is that it was slightly unjustified," said Evans. "I hear that John was clearly over the ball and competing for the ball."
There was also a suspicion of a forward pass about England's try, although it was Evans' touchdown that was deemed to require the television match official. It was the 27-year-old's third try for his country, all of them coming in losing causes.
His second was in last year's game against Wales, the match in which his brother Thom almost lost his life and after which he was ultimately forced to retire. Yesterday saw back-rower Kelly Brown carried off on a stretcher in similar fashion following a heavy collision with Matt Banahan, so Evans was understandably relieved when the injury proved far less serious than it first appeared.
"The great thing is Kelly's doing really well," said Evans. "He was sitting in the changing room, although he can't really remember what happened."
Scotland's defeat meant that, for the fifth year in a row, they go into their final game of the Championship with the spectre of the wooden spoon hanging over them. And they will play an Italy side at Murrayfield on Saturday still revelling in Saturday's sensational win over France.
"I was cheering them on watching them," Evans surprisingly admitted. "I'm also a fan of rugby as well and when a team deserves a win like Italy deserved that win, you cheer them on. When we come to the weekend, there'll be no question that I'm out to win myself."
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