Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

We got a reality check - Robinson

Andy Robinson

Head coach Andy Robinson had no complaints after Scotland's frailties were ruthlessly exposed as New Zealand claimed a 49-3 victory in the opening EMC Autumn Test at Murrayfield.

The All Blacks scored seven tries through Hosea Gear (two), Mils Muliaina (two), Dan Carter, Conrad Smith and Andy Ellis, with fly-half Carter adding five conversions and his replacement Stephen Donald two. Dan Parks' third-minute penalty was the only thing Scotland had to show for their attacking enterprise, with the All Blacks defence proving impenetrable.

"We let the nation down and it's about how we come back from that," Robinson said. "I thought New Zealand were outstanding in the way they played the game of rugby and we were unable to match that."

Captain Mike Blair and centre Max Evans went off injured, but their injuries were not as bad as first feared despite scrum-half Blair being unable to attend the post-match press conference.

Blair went off late in the first half with a head injury and the game ended prematurely with Evans taken off on a stretcher after a blow to his shoulder, reviving memories of the career-ending neck break suffered by his brother Thom against Wales in the RBS 6 Nations in February.

He added: "It was a dose of reality about what international rugby is about. They expose you and they're great runners. The support play of their outside backs is tremendous."

Robinson was relieved Evans' injury was not as bad as first feared.

"Mike had a head knock and was pretty blurred," said Robinson. "Max got a stinger (shoulder injury). He's walking around now, which we're delighted to know."

Asked whether he was surprised by the margin of defeat against the world's number one nation, Robinson added: "It's reality for us, in terms of where we are.

"Every game we play we've got to be right at our best."

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