Rugby union-Scotland's gritty response delights coach Robinson

Reuters

Sat, 20 Nov 18:52:00 2010

Scotland coach Andy Robinson praised his side for responding to last week's humiliating defeat by New Zealand with a 21-17 win over South Africa at Murrayfield on Saturday.

"It is a fine line in sport. We underperformed last week against a very strong side. This week we raised our level of performance to take on the second-best side in the world," Robinson told a news conference.

"The urgency was lacking last week but there was a collective mindset today not to let them score. We had good leadership throughout the team.

"I'm delighted for Scotland, the players and the supporters. The players were shell-shocked after last week but came back and proved they have the ability to play against the very best," added Robinson, whose side lost 49-3 to New Zealand.

Dan Parks scored all Scotland's tries on Saturday with six penalties and a drop goal but captain Rory Lawson said all his players should take the credit for the success.

"I'm delighted for the whole squad," Lawson said. "There were some battered bodies physically and mentally at the start of the week and we had to pick ourselves up but it was easy because they are so determined and so together. Everybody wants to work hard for each other and that gives you a real chance."

South Africa coach Peter de Villiers said Scotland had coped better with the heavy rain during the game.

"The momentum at the beginning was with us and we were quite comfortable but we were nailed for a few things on our ball and it gave them a lift," he said.

Captain Victor Matfield added: "People said we were big favourites but we knew it would be tough. These conditions level everything out but well done to Scotland.

"We have a big match against England next week and need to approach it with a new energy and a new focus."

 

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