January 26, 2011 | In: Articles
Robinson wants consistency
Scotland head coach Andy Robinson believes his side must prove that they can consistently compete with the best in the RBS Six Nations.
The last four Six Nations campaigns have ended with Scotland finishing either bottom or second from bottom in the final table.
But they head into this year’s tournament with five wins in their last six internationals, including a surprise 21-17 victory over world champions South Africa in November.
Now Robinson has challenged his squad to produce that level of performance on a weekly basis.
“I think what the South Africa game showed for us is the level of performance we can get to,” he said.
“If you look through history Scotland have always been able to produce one-off performances. What we want is to be able to do it week after week.”
Scotland lost their first three matches in the 2010 Six Nations but managed to avoid the wooden spoon by drawing with England and beating Ireland in Dublin.
Robinson added: “I’ve only been involved (in the Six Nations) since last year and we felt we under-performed. Whilst we were pleased with how we played in patches in games we didn’t deliver results.
“We made mistakes and were punished. That’s something everybody fully understands.
“What we have been able to achieve since England is achieve performances plus results and that’s what we are judged on.
“We have confidence and there’s a very good team spirit. The guys are understanding their roles, but the New Zealand game (a 49-3 loss) was a good reminder for us of where we are.”
Scotland’s campaign gets off to one of the toughest starts possible as they travel to Paris to take on defending Grand Slam champions France.
“My challenge – and the rest of the management – is to make sure the way we set the team up is right and then that the players are at their best going into each game we play,” former England coach Robinson said.
“The France game is the perfect challenge for that. Everybody’s saying how unpredictable the French are, but we have huge respect for the way they play the game and the threats that they have.
“It’s important when you haven’t played together for a while that you get your fundamentals right.
“That’s something we are focusing on, making sure our set piece is very good and our defensive framework is set up.
“If we can do that I am confident we can perform. But if we’re not at our best we’ll get beat. Stade de France is a great place to play and whoever you play in your first game of the championship is going to be tough.”