Scots looking to pick up the pieces
Mon, 18 Nov 2013 09:58
We dug a pretty big hole
Scotland were left licking the wounds of their first blank on the scoreboard since a 0-40 Murrayfield defeat by New Zealand during the 2007 World Cup.
The Scots were cocksure they could replicate the arm-wrestle they produced against South Africa in June, but coach Scott Johnson admitted his team were undone by the sheer ruthlessness of the Springboks in a 0-28 reversal in Edinburgh on Sunday.
"We let ourselves down early on and put ourselves under a heap of pressure," Johnson told a media scrum in the wake of his team's demolition at the hands of the Boks.
"We were up against a clinical side who took all of their chances."
Scotland finish their November home series against Johnson's native Australia at Murrayfield this Saturday.
The Scottish mentor admitted they can't afford a repeat of the mistakes they made against the Boks.
"They were a pretty good side that took every one of their chances," Johnson said.
"I said to them [the Scottish players] at half-time that we have dug a pretty big hole here, let's not keep digging.
"And we didn't keep digging. We filled in a bit.
"But we were punished for our mistakes every time we got it wrong in the first half.
"They were very, very clinical.
"The maul for the first try was wonderfully set up and then we turned over the ball and they ran 60 metres to score the second.
"For the third, they scored a great try off a missed tackle straight from the kick-off.
"That was great skill.
"But there was plenty of 'us' in that too."
Where the South African's were clinical at the set-pieces, Scotland managed to gift possession from five out of their first six line-outs in the opening 20 minutes.
"There was a couple off issues with the line-out at the start of the game," admitted Johnson.
"It put us under a heap of pressure that they eventually scored points off of, but we accept that. But as a coach you have to look at how people bounce back.
"Out of that situation, we started to get ourselves out of a jam eventually and we found out a bit about a few people today."
And the Australian boss was keen to focus on the few positives ahead of next Saturday's meeting with Australia.
"I thought that the defence held - it was resolute," he said.
"That sounds funny when you have let in four tries, but the amount of possession they had [in the first half], that game could have gone further down the path.
"Yeah they scored readily in the first half but they didn't score after that. So it highlights the fact that most of the issues are ours and ours alone. They are the ones we have to fix."
South Africa are due to face the Scots in the pool stage of the 2015 World Cup when it is staged south of the border.
Here's what some of the Scottish players had to say!
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