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Scotland under pressure

Cusiter laments second-half failings during loss in Wales

Last Updated: 13/02/12 4:00pm

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Chris Cusiter: Scotland scrum-half wants side to cut out errors

Chris Cusiter: Scotland scrum-half wants side to cut out errors

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Scotland will find themselves facing a familiar RBS Six Nations salvage job when they tackle tournament favourites France at Murrayfield on February 26.

Scotland's 27-13 Millennium Stadium defeat against Wales was their fourth on the bounce in all competitions and the ninth Six Nations loss from 12 since head coach Andy Robinson's reign began.

It has also been confirmed by Robinson that Scotland defence coach Graham Steadman will leave when his current contract expires at the end of this season, while speculation continues to rage around the future of attack specialist Gregor Townsend.

Scotland held Wales to a 3-3 half-time scoreline, which should have been a lead for the visitors after they went through 21 phases of play and then saw prop Allan Jacobsen knock on with Wales' line in sight.

"It's a harsh lesson to learn, but we have got to put together an 80-minute performance."
Chris Cusiter Quotes of the week

But a hopelessly one-sided third quarter produced a spectacular Scottish collapse as they conceded three converted tries in 13 minutes and had two players - centre Nick De Luca and full-back Rory Lamont - sin-binned by French referee Romain Poite.

Disappointed

"We did a good first-half shift," said Scotland scrum-half Chris Cusiter, whose place against France looks to be under serious threat from Mike Blair.

"But they scored a try straight after half-time and got some momentum. We are really disappointed.

"All the games we've been in recently have been fairly even contests, but we have got to start winning. The boys are all gutted - we should have done better.

"We know we can beat any team we play against, and we were looking really good for a while, but a lapse in concentration and a couple of mistakes off the back of it and all of a sudden the game is almost out of sight.

"It's a harsh lesson to learn, but we have got to put together an 80-minute performance."

France are now next up for Cusiter and company on Sunday week, with Les Bleus followed by testing trips to Ireland and Italy.

"We've got France next up, and we will look forward to that and try to cut out these errors," Cusiter added.

"We will look forward to France. It's a huge game for us. After losing two games it becomes absolutely paramount that we win.

"We believe we can do it if we put together an 80-minute performance, but if we switch off for a bit then unfortunately in international rugby you are punished."

Poor record

The Scottish record against France in Six Nations combat, though, hardly inspires confidence.

Scotland have triumphed just once in 12 meetings, winning 20-16 at Murrayfield in 2006, but the average Six Nations scoreline between the countries is 26-11 in Les Bleus' favour.

Scotland's injured players from Cardiff - wing Max Evans and flanker Alasdair Strokosch - are set to undergo further assessment.

Evans went off after just 16 minutes due to an ankle injury and he left the ground on crutches, while Gloucester forward Strokosch suffered a hand problem.

Three other players - prop Jacobsen and replacement forwards Ed Kalman and Ali Kellock - all required stitches.

Scotland, meanwhile, remain 11th in latest the International Rugby Board world rankings published on February 2012, one place above Italy but eight adrift of France, six behind England, five lower than Wales and three behind Ireland.

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