Scots relieved after 'good' performance

Wed, 14 Sep 2011 00:00
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Andy Robinson breathed a sigh of relief as Scotland won 'ugly' to maintain their 100 per cent start to the World Cup but admitted they have to improve if they are to progress from the pool stages.

Andy Robinson breathed a sigh of relief as Scotland won 'ugly' to maintain their 100 per cent start to the World Cup but admitted they have to improve if they are to progress from the pool stages.

Robinson's men ground out a 15-6 victory over the eastern European minnows Georgia at a drenched Rugby Park Stadium in Invercargill.

They failed to unlock the Lelos' defence, in an error-strewn performance, but dominated the set-piece to allow Dan Parks to slot four penalties and a drop-goal.

Next up for the Scots is a crunch showdown with Argentina in Wellington on September 25.

And Robinson admits his charges have to hit full stride and cut out the errors if they are to maul the Pumas.

Robinson said: "We wanted nine points when we leave Invercargill and that's what we achieved.

"In terms of winning a game it was a good performance because we aimed to get four points today. We controlled the game, we controlled the touch. Sometimes you have to go this way. You have to win ugly.

"The key was for us to win the game and I was delighted with the mentality the players showed.

"I was delighted with the way we scrummaged today. We put a lot of work into it and I feel like we dominated that today [Wednesday].

"But I'm disappointed we couldn't hold on to the ball more. We were not accurate and that's why it became close.

"One thing we have to do is improve ball in hand. We are pleased with our shape at the moment. But we just have to get into the rhythm when we play Argentina."

The victory also maintained Rory Lawson's 100 percent record as skipper following wins over South Africa, Samoa and Ireland earlier this year.

Lawson admitted the conditions had a major impact on the match but echoed Robinson's sentiments.

Lawson added: "It was slippery. I felt if another couple of passes had gone to hand we could have had a couple of scores.

"Now we will go away and look at the game a couple of times and see where we can improve ahead of Argentina."

Georgia now have the unenviable task of facing England on Sunday.

Head coach Richie Dixon, a former Scottish international, was disappointed with his side's display against his native countrymen and felt they let Robinson's men off the hook.

But he is now focussed on the clash with England at the Otago Stadium in Dunedin.

Dixon said: "I felt we could have actually achieved more in that game but we were our own worst enemy in terms of building momentum and it's a momentum game.

"It was a bit of first-match syndrome. Now that we've got the first game under our belt we can have a good look at ourselves.

"It's been a long time coming and the boys were really champing at the bit. I was bitterly disappointed that we let Scotland off the hook at times.

"The draw has not been kind to us and some of the other teams but you have to live in the real world and just get on with it really.

"It's the level that England are used to playing at and our guys are still coming to terms with. But the Scotland game will hold us in good stead and we're not as far away as some people might think."

AFP

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