Interim head coach Scott Johnson admits Scotland must be better

Last Updated: 23/06/13 2:06pm

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Alasdair Strokosch: Late try

Alasdair Strokosch: Late try

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Scotland interim head coach Scott Johnson admits improvements must be made after a 'tough old tour' of South Africa.

The Scots secured a narrow 30-29 win over Italy in the quadrangular series' third-place play-off match in Pretoria, with flanker Alasdair Strokosch's late converted try sealing the win.

The performance, however, was not of the same high standard as the one produced in the 30-17 loss to hosts South African the previous weekend, and Johnson says the squad cannot accept it.

"I'm not walking away from the fact that we have to improve areas of our game, and we can't accept that as a standard," Johnson said.

"It has been a tough old tour with injuries and our depth has been tested.

"That is what we needed to do - test our depth - and this reign is going to continue a little longer because we want to make sure we have a competitive squad.

Resolve

"It is a hard year, a long year, and you can take pride in the resolve of the boys to finish it off."

With a group reduced by British and Irish Lions call-ups and injuries, Scotland were beaten twice in South Africa, losing to the host nation and Samoa.

In performance terms, those three games represented a real mixed bag, with Johnson scathing about the Samoa loss and the narrow win over Italy but fulsome in his praise of the team's showing against the Springboks, something he now wants to be the measure for the players.

"Winning is contagious, but we don't want to be a team that has peaks and troughs," he added.

"We are trying to be a competitive team all the time. Yes, we beat Italy, but we set the bar the week before and want to be there, or thereabouts, all the time."

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