Scotland proud of effort, critical of referee

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Scotland coach Vern Cotter was effusive in his praise of his players after a 23-22 loss to the Wallabies, but said his side ‘didn’t get the rub of the green’

Both Cotter and Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw were critical of referee John Lacey, with Laidlaw saying Lacey ‘turned on’ his side in the second half.

The Scots ended up on the wrong side of a 12-9 penalty count and Cotter said he felt there were some decisions that went the wrong way.

“I'm proud of the way the players played that game,” he said.

“There are things we can control and things we can't control. We focus on the ones we can, we take out a pretty good performance.

“The players played with immense courage, threw themselves at it and I just think we didn't get the rub of the green at times.”

Laidlaw said he felt there were a number of decisions that unfairly went the way of the Wallabies but admitted his side needed to tidy up its discipline as well.

“He certainly turned on us in the second half for whatever reason, Vern's mentioned the penalty count so we just need to be smarter on that because we just let them take the scoreboard a little bit,” he said.

“I think when you go back and look at a few decisions, [we were] probably harshly penalised on a few occasions.

“There was a couple of times where we kicked the ball out and I reckon we probably should've just kicked long and tried to get the chase, rather than give them set piece in our half,” he said.

“That's what we're looking at, so we just needed to grab a bit of field position but it [the turning point] was probably some ill-discipline and fewer decisions went our way.”

While Cotter was clearly unhappy with some of the officiating after an agonising loss, he said the team wouldn’t be dwelling on it.

“I think there were eight penalties against us in the second half, maybe two for us.

“There were a number of things there. Like I say, that is something we can't focus on.

“The most important thing for us is to go back and analyse it tomorrow.

Stuart Hogg was impressive but it was a painful loss for Scotland. Photo: Getty Images“I'd say we'll do a full analysis tomorrow morning but at the moment there's a bit of emotion.”

Laidlaw said it was painful to miss out by just one point again, believing they had made major progress this season

“We've pretty much been in every single game that we played and it was just about getting a little bit of luck, everybody needs a bit of luck to get over that line,” he said

“One of my kicks just clipped the inside of the post there, so the thickness of the lick of paint and that goes through and we're probably home and hosed.

“Then unfortunately we just cough up a try at the end and probably felt we were harshly penalised and...we feel so close and massively frustrated we've not won today.”

Scotland takes on Argentina at Murrayfield next weekend.