Six Nations
Cusiter disappointed with Scottish defence
February 8, 2010

Scotland skipper Chris Cusiter refused to concede that his side had taken a backward step since the autumn following their 18-9 defeat to France at Murrayfield.

The Scots began the Six Nations with renewed hope after their battling win over Australia in November but had no answer for the pace and power of the French attack and the crushing accuracy of their blitz defence. Mathieu Bastareaud scored two first-half tries for Les Bleus and ensured that Scotland dropped below Fiji in the IRB World Rankings.

"It's not a step back," he said. "Ultimately, the game hinged on those two tries. "We never made two defensive errors in one game which were as serious as that in the autumn.

"If you take away those two lapses, we were in the game, we were playing some good rugby, we were getting some good width on the ball and making a couple of line breaks. There's obviously a bit of work to do on our finishing; we didn't react well to a couple of situations when we got deep into their 22.

"We've got a lot to work on but we've certainly got a lot to build on. It's the first game - of course things weren't going to go absolutely smoothly. But we'll look at the video and work out how we can improve for next week."

Cusiter admitted that the better team won and also that his side's lack of try-scoring clout has become a worry. Chris Paterson again kicked all of their points and they have scored only two tries in their last six Tests, 480 minutes of rugby, ahead of a trip to face Wales next weekend.

"You have to say, on the day, the better team won," he said. "They executed really well in that first half. We were under a lot of pressure in that first half, we were defending a lot.

"We need to keep believing in what we're doing. We have to just finish these opportunities off a lot better, be a bit more composed when we get into their 22. Our try-count is something that we need to up. I think we're making breaks, we're causing teams problems. We just need to take that next step."


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