Italy 13-6 Scotland, Six Nations
Robinson tight-lipped over future
March 17, 2012
Italy celebrate their win over Scotland © Getty Images
Under-fire Scotland boss Andy Robinson is reluctant to make a knee-jerk reaction over his future and will take time to ponder his next move after seeing his side collect the wooden spoon following their loss to Italy.
Robinson is contracted until the 2015 World Cup, but may believe he has taken Scotland as far as possible following two wins in 15 Six Nations matches, each coming on the final weekend of the championship in the last two years, and the worst sequence of results since 1998. There was little positive the former Bath and England boss could grasp at during a disjointed display at the Stadio Olimpico as his side remained without a victory since the September 14 defeat of Georgia at a World Cup where Scotland went out in the group stages for the first time.
The emergence of young players such as David Denton and Stuart Hogg may encourage Robinson to continue, but he made it clear the decision will follow an in-depth review of the championship which he will present to Scottish Rugby Union chief executive Mark Dodson.
Robinson said: "I'm still contracted until 2015. I'm going away to reflect on the Six Nations and reflect on the future, in terms of the positivity that we have, the players we have and the way forward - and putting a plan together for the way forward. We'll be doing adebrief of the Six Nations and then I'll be meeting with Mark Dodson to go through that.
"There is not a set time scale on that. There's a lot to take in in terms of what's happened and it's about looking at the future and what's best for the future. Now's not the time to be discussing that, with the feelings that everybody has.
"The time to be discussing that we'll be in the next couple of weeks."
In what could be Robinson's final game as head coach, Scotland contributed significantly to their own downfall in an error-strewn display at the Stadio Olimpico as Nick De Luca and Jim Hamilton were sin-binned. Giovanbattista Venditti's converted try in De Luca's absence proved decisive and Kristopher Burton added a late drop goal to make certain of an Italy triumph.
The one plus for Scotland was a debut for Jon Welsh, who played at loosehead prop after Allan Jacobsen was injured in the warm-up. The line-out malfunctioned, captain Ross Ford inaccurate while throwing in, possession was relinquished all too easily and Italy dominated territory.
Robinson felt much of Scotland's troubles throughout the championship were self-inflicted and lamented a missed opportunity against Italy after being fortunate to go in level at half-time. He added: "We've put ourselves under pressure. There's enough pressure coming from the opposition.
"For example, the line-out today put pressure on ourselves. With the amount of pressure that they had in that first half, for us to turn in a three-all - whilst we weren't happy with the way we were trying to play - was a massive statement in terms of the courage the players had shown on the pitch.
"But our break down of the line-out didn't allow us to put any pressure on them at all. If you don't apply the pressure on the opposition inside their third, then against a side like Italy you're going to come under immense pressure.
"Our inaccuracies enabled them to get field position and apply pressure. I still felt we were in the game at 10-6 and had opportunities.
"Unfortunately again when we got the territory the line-out broke down."
Ford, who has 58 caps in a Test career which began in 2004, summed up the mood in the team following losses to England, Wales, France, Ireland and now the Azzurri in a first whitewash in eight years.
The Edinburgh hooker said: "This is the worst feeling I've had in my Scotland career. It's not a good place to be in at the moment."
Italy coach Jacques Brunel celebrated a first win in charge as Scotland remained without a victory in Rome since 2006. Brunel said: "I think today we were able to impose our intensity.
"Each experience, each story is important. This win is very important because it marks a start. We are on the right path. We had to win today to get confidence.
"We have dominated Scotland as no-one else has done in the tournament. I'm very happy with the way we have won this game."
The Azzurri sustained two injury blows with centre Gonzalo Canale suffering a suspected fractured wrist and replacement Tobias Botes a fractured arm.
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