Robinson demands high tempo
February 4, 2012
Andy Robinson: Scotland must manage chaos © PA Photos
Head coach Andy Robinson will demand his Scotland side play with pace, but with composure amid the mayhem, in Saturday's Six Nations clash with England at Murrayfield.
Scotland were seeking a second win in 13 attempts on the opening day in order to continue England's wait for a first success in Edinburgh since 2004 and reclaim the Calcutta Cup. Robinson said: "That's how you win rugby matches - it's about the speed you play the game at.
"To disrupt the opposition with that speed and the chaotic nature of the game is important. It's also about being able to keep your heads as well, to play within that chaos."
Scotland and England last met in Auckland in October, with Robinson's team eliminated from the World Cup as a result of a last-gasp 16-12 defeat. The former England head coach is eager to improve on his two wins in ten Six Nations matches as Scotland boss - a record he has described as "unacceptable" - and knows a successful opening weekend is key to a strong championship.
"For everybody in the championship you want to get off to a winning start," said Robinson. "We've not achieved that in the two years that I've been here. People talk about the potential and the ability we have, but it's about delivering results.
"We've not done that in previous championships and it's important we do that on Saturday. What we haven't done in the World Cup and in previous championships early on is take the opportunities. When we create those chances, it's time for us to take them."
Robinson is set to persist with the expansive tactics which have so far failed to bring consistent success. Much of the focus will be on fly-half Dan Parks, who in his 66 previous caps has proven his ability as a kicking playmaker, but questions remain in some quarters over whether he can command a running game.
Parks is included as one of eight changes to the side which began the Eden Park match, with wing Lee Jones set to win his first cap and lock Jim Hamilton, flanker Ross Rennie, number eight David Denton, scrum-half Chris Cusiter, centre Nick De Luca and full-back Rory Lamont all promoted to the starting XV.
Cusiter, making his first start since the 2010 tournament, said: "We've come on the wrong side of so many close games, it's so frustrating and quite sickening at times. We simply have to win."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter
While the Super Rugby season enters the all-important knockout phase, elsewhere pre-season training never looked so enjoyable. We round-up the best snaps in our Week in Pictures
"Our scrums and lineouts are sometimes not that good but our men are very brave." Ken Borland finds that rugby is on the rise in Senegal
Laurie Fisher talks about the Brumbies and Gloucester, and provides revealing thoughts on the player involvement during the glory days in Canberra