Cotter wants to see Scots build legacy

Sun, 19 Mar 2017 08:21
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SIX NATIONS REACTION: Scotland's departing head coach Vern Cotter praised "the character" of his players in bouncing back from their 21-61 hammering against England to provide him with a winning 29-0 send off at home to Italy on the final day.

Typically, however, the 55-year-old New Zealander declined to accept any personal plaudits for leaving his successor, Gregor Townsend, with the legacy of a team who, in his three-year tenure, have risen from 10th to fifth in the world rankings and progressed from a Six Nations whitewash in his maiden season to three wins out of five.

Having already recorded home victories against Ireland and Wales, Cotter's side notched a bonus point victory with tries from Finn Russell, Matt Scott, Tim Visser and Tommy Seymour. It completed a hat-trick of wins for only the second time in the 18 seasons of the Six Nations era - matching their 2006 tally.

After France's dramatic win against Wales and Ireland's victory over England, the Scots finished fourth in the table behind England, Ireland and France.

With 19 victories from 36 matches, Cotter has also become the first Scotland coach in the professional era to achieve a 50 percent or better win ratio.

"I am not going to talk about legacies. It's just been good to come here and work with good people - to strive to move forward and get better. That is all we have done and now these guys, we'll look forward to seeing these guys put the jersey on and get out there and play again.

"These guys are gaining experience together. We always said last week would help us and those tough days have, in a lot of ways. We'll be looking at the World Cup in 2019 with a real desire to do well.

"The three wins is great. It's a reflection of the work these guys put in, the honest review from last week and the time we spent on the field this week. I'm really happy with the character shown by this group of men," Cotter said.

Cotter, who joins Montpellier in the Top 14 when Townsend moves from Glasgow, also had the satisfaction of seeing his side finish with Scotland's highest try scoring tally in a Six Nations season - 14.

He received a huge ovation from the sell-out Murrayfield crowd when he was reluctantly ushered by injured captain Greig Laidlaw on a lap of honour at the final whistle.

"Greig pulled me along. It was really nice. I had the whole family here watching the game, so I just signed off on the three years. It was nice to finish on a win so, yeah, that's it now," he added.

It was a desperate performance by Italy, who failed to trouble the scoreboard for the first time in two years - since a 0-29 defeat against France in Rome on March 15, 2015 - consigning them to a whitewash of five defeats without even a single losing bonus point.

Agence France-Presse

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
England 5 4 0 1 19
Ireland 5 3 0 2 14
France 5 3 0 2 14
Scotland 5 3 0 2 14
Wales 5 2 0 3 10
Italy 5 0 0 5 0