Coach Scott Johnson tells Scotland to raise game

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The Independent Online

Scotland's interim head coach Scott Johnson was pleased to see his team end their tour of South Africa on a high, but acknowledged big strides still need to be made.

Alasdair Strokosch's converted try at the death saw the Scots snatch an unlikely 30-29 win over Italy in the quadrangular series third-place play-off match in Pretoria on Saturday, but the performance was not a patch on the one produced in last weekend's 30-17 defeat by South Africa.

"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 after the Italy match – and by all accounts the message was just as terse and even more blunt in the changing room.

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

"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.

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