Robinson promises variety from Scots
February 12, 2010
Scotland's Chris Paterson slots a kick at the Millennium Stadium ahead of their Six Nations clash with Wales on Saturday © PA Photos
Scotland coach Andy Robinson has promised a multi-dimensional approach from his side when they tackle Six Nations rivals Wales at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.
Wales coach Warren Gatland believes the recall of fly-half Dan Parks suggests a kick-orientated gameplan from the Scots but Robinson has refuted those claims and promised variety from his side.
Scotland have not won in Cardiff since 2002, while three successive Tests without scoring a try following shutouts against Australia, Argentina and France suggest a kicking game is their most obvious victory route. Gatland also took a swipe at the Scots for requesting the Millennium Stadium be kept open, claiming they were hoping for wet weather.
"It's a great stadium, and seeing the blue sky today made it even more impressive," said Robinson. "I can't control what Warren Gatland says. We are looking forward to the game - I think it is going to be a cracking game of rugby between two very good sides. It is not just the fact we are going to play a kicking game; we are going to run the ball and move the ball.
"There are many ways to break a defence down, and we have to continually ask questions of the Welsh defence. It is not just going to be done by kicking. I am very surprised people think that's the only way we are going to do it. You have to stop the opposition playing. We are playing away from home, we have specific tactics, and if we can execute them right, it will be good news."
Robinson was in a relaxed mood at Scotland's Cardiff city centre hotel - even when asked about a recent inability to score tries. "There are a number of components about your ability to score tries, but we are not going to get over-fazed by the lack of tries," he added. "Our focus is on winning games, and one of the key aspects to winning games is spending more time in the opposition's half than in ours. Last week (against France), we got that totally wrong.
"If we do the same tomorrow, we are going to struggle. Scoring tries is about building pressure on the opposition and mounting numerous ways of attacks. Unfortunately, last week, we didn't spend long enough in France's 22 with ball in hand to be able to do that. We've got to sustain pressure on the opposition and be a lot more accurate.
"We are trying to build pressure on the opposition to accumulate points, that's what our focus is. If we win 15-6 tomorrow and don't score any tries, we will all be happy. We are here, playing away from home. Scotland have not won here since 2002, so you can see what the ask is for us."
Parks, whose country have averaged barely one try per game in the Six Nations Tests he has started, will be pivotal to Scottish victory ambitions. And if Magners League form is anything to go by this season, he could give Wales plenty to think about.
"Dan has performed consistently well for Glasgow," said Robinson. "He has brought the likes of Graeme Morrison and Max Evans into the game when he's played for them - he has done well. Dan is a very good communicator, he has got a very good head on his shoulders and he runs the game well.
"This is Test match rugby, and I am looking forward to seeing him step up and continue the form he has had for Glasgow. This is another step up, and for all our players we have to step up a notch from last week."
Robinson also backed cap centurion Chris Paterson to deliver "as he has the other 99 times he's played for Scotland," but warned, "This game is about the whole 15 stepping up. If the team just looks around and waits for Chris to do things, we will lose. It is about everyone grabbing hold of the game and working hard.
"We are under no illusions how tough this game is going to be. I thought Wales played well (against England) last weekend. They could easily have won that game, and they know that. They did well to get themselves back in the game, and that impressed me. That's a side that believes in itself. To get back to 20-17 (from 20-3 down) was pretty special.
"We totally understand what we have to do to get a victory, and I am looking forward to the men in blue standing up to Wales."
Proposals to remove promotion and relegation from the Aviva Premiership would be for the good of the game overall, argues John Taylor
Ireland have the world sitting up and taking notice - and rugby's structure in Europe will aid their Rugby World Cup bid, writes John Mitchell
Where does Italy's win over Scotland rank among their successes in the Six Nations? Scrum Sevens investigates
The tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery