Scotland 18-21 Ireland, Six Nations, Murrayfield, February 27
Robinson rues Owens' calls
ESPNscrum Staff
February 27, 2011
Robinson questions referee Nigel Owens

Head coach Andy Robinson was unhappy with the refereeing of Nigel Owens as Scotland fell to a 21-18 Six Nations loss to Ireland at Murrayfield.

Ireland's last Championship defeat in Edinburgh was in 2001 and tries from Jamie Heaslip, Eoin Reddan and Ronan O'Gara, who added three conversions, saw them cruising with a 21-9 lead.

Scotland, now without a win from three matches and travelling to Grand Slam-chasing England on March 13, responded through four Chris Paterson penalties, a Dan Parks drop-goal and penalty but could not breach the Ireland defence for the winning try in a strong final quarter.

Heaslip's score came after just seven minutes as Scotland conceded an early try for the third time in three matches, but Robinson highlighted the 13-4 penalty count against Ireland and the sin-binning of Allan Jacobsen after half-time as key to his team's defeat.

The Scotland head coach, who will attempt to speak to Owens about the decisions, said: "There are a number of issues that I have about the game. Firstly, the high Irish penalty count and no sin-bins and their ability to slow our ball down illegally.

"Secondly, I thought the scrums just after half-time - when we've got the Irish going backwards and there was a penalty against us and then from the next scrum our prop [Jacobsen] was sin-binned - was a major turning point in the game.

"We were just about to get on top of the Irish and to lose a player like that is pretty hard to come back from. But I'm delighted with the way the team came back from that. I want to know why he made those calls."

Kidney: "We'll celebrate tonight"

Robinson was once again unhappy with his defence, but pleased with the expansive style of play Scotland adopted. He added: "The three tries, again, were pretty soft scores for Ireland to get. That's something we really do have to work at and look at. But in terms of the way that we played, I was pleased with the whole attitude in the way that we went about it.

"There's a lot of disappointment about us losing the game, but what's important for us is we're looking to move our game forward. Ultimately we've got to finish opportunities."

Scotland searched for a try in the final 10 minutes, rather than a score-equalling drop-goal. Robinson said: "We were going for the win. It was important for us to go for the win. There was enough there for us to get out and win the game, particularly in the last few minutes."

Ronan O'Gara declared himself "far from finished" after he scored 11 points in the match.

"I think at this level the margins are very fine, losing by one score to France, beating Italy by one score, winning here by one score," O'Gara told BBC2. "I think we were very good at times today and very poor at times but in the end it's all about winning and that's what we did.

"I'm far from finished, I really enjoy playing with the boys. There is no better place than Murrayfield to express yourself. We had fantastic support today and I think that means a lot to the players."

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