Scotland 6-24 Wales, Six Nations, Murrayfield, February 12
Robinson laments error-strewn display
ESPNscrum Staff
February 12, 2011
Wales wing Shane Williams looks to break, Scotland v Wales, Six Nations, Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Scotland, February 12, 2011
Wales wing Shane Williams helped himself to two tries during Saturday's win over Scotland at Murrayfield © Getty Images

Scotland head coach Andy Robinson labelled his side's performance in Saturday's 24-6 defeat by Wales at Murrayfield as "unacceptable".

Confidence within the Scottish camp was high after an encouraging display in defeat in France last weekend but they made a horrendous start to the game and found themselves 13-0 down by the end of the first quarter after conceding a try to Shane Williams and two penalties to James Hook.

The Scots never really recovered, managing just two penalties from Dan Parks before Wales sealed a deserved win when winger Williams crossed for a second time with just over 10 minutes remaining.

"We made too many errors, particularly in that first 20 minutes," Robinson said. "If you make errors like that and give Wales the opportunities that we gave them... they grew in confidence, they grew in their physicality and ended up deserved winners.

"The guys are hurting pretty hard. Everybody's disappointed. That is unacceptable, what happened today."

Robinson was particularly frustrated by the fact that Scotland registered nothing more than a solitary penalty from Parks while Wales duo Bradley Davies and Lee Byrne were in the sin bin during the first half.

"When they had 13 men we didn't take our chances. We had enough ball in the opposition 22 to get those chances," he said. "We knocked on a couple of balls and in the second half as well at 16-6. Wales had opportunities, probably not as many as us, but they took them.

"We've gone back a couple of steps today. It's difficult to quantify, a lot will depend on how we respond in two weeks' time against Ireland."

However, Robinson did take some encouragement from the steadying influence Moray Low had on the struggling Scottish set-piece when he replaced Euan Murray early in the second half. "I thought Moray Low did well when he came on," the former England boss said. "That's an area we need to have greater work on."

Robinson revealed that while Hugo Southwell required stitches after being forced off in the first half with a cut to his cheek, his players had suffered no other injuries of note.

Meanwhile, Robinson's Wales counterpart Warren Gatland actually felt that his side had performed better in losing to England on the opening weekend than in victory at Murrayfield.

"I thought we played better last week, we played really well, we were a bit unlucky," the Kiwi said. "If you look at the two sides last week England came away as fantastic and we were rubbish. But if you looked at the stats they showed it was a very tight game.

"I thought we were clinical today, defended exceptionally well and thoroughly deserved to win. The boys fronted up and that's what it's about in sport at the highest level. Whether you are a player or a coach you will come under pressure and it's about showing character and responding to that and that what makes a man, people who love the challenge of having your backs to the wall.

"I thought the players could have easily lacked confidence as they have been under the pump but they continued to work really hard and front up. The performance needs to improve but the result was good."

Like Robinson, Gatland also felt that the period in which Wales were down to 13 men was the key to the match.

"Then we showed great character to hold out for that 10 minutes when we were down to 13 men, and that was the game," he said. "We changed tactically after the break to play for territory and force them to play from deep, and I thought we defended well and when we got the chance Jonathan Davies put the kick through and Shane Williams scored. The lessons we learned from last week were pleasing."

Sam Warburton was named man of the match for a barnstorming display in the Scottish capital but Gatland felt that the flanker's back-row colleagues Dan Lydiate and Ryan Jones also warranted special praise.

"I thought the back-row was outstanding. We had a lesson from Scotland last year with the way their back-rowers played, but the two youngsters and Ryan were brilliant," he said. "Sam was excellent defensively and on the ball and he has learnt a lot in the last 12 months and he is potentially turning himself into a world-class seven."

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