Robinson is keen for the Scots to start scoring tries

Click to follow
The Independent Online

There were more than a few eyebrows raised at the Six Nations launch in London last week when Marc Lièvremont ventured to suggest that Scotland were the "All Blacks of the north".

There was, no doubt, a liberal element of pre-championship psychology involved in that France's head coach takes his team to Edinburgh for the start of their 2010 campaign tomorrow – and also a respectful nod towards Scotland's 9-8 victory against the Wallabies at Murrayfield in November. Still, as a leap of imagination, it was in the Bob Beamon range, the Scots never having beaten the All Blacks of the south, unlike the French, who beat them last June in Dunedin.

It would have been a closer to home truth, if a little cruel, if Lièvremont had described the Scotland as the "All Blanks". On the try-scoring front they have become accustomed to firing duds. In four of their last five matches the Scots have failed to cross the opposition whitewash. Aside from their meetings with Italy they have managed just three tries in the last two seasons of the Six Nations Championship. It is a crisis Andy Robinson knows he must resolve if Scotland are to make an impact.

"The whole team defended well in the autumn, but throughout the team we have to improve our ability with the ball in hand," Robinson acknowledged. "If we want to win games, we've got to go out and attack teams and play with some width. If we can move the ball quickly from the rucks and get our offloading going, we get the likes of Max and Thom Evans in space and cause the French some problems. If we're not able to achieve that, it's going to be hard work for us."

Scotland v France

Murrayfield teams

France

Poitrenaud (Toulouse) 15

Fall (Bayonne) 14

Bastareaud (Stade) 13

Jauzion (Toulouse) 12

Rougerie (Clermont) 11

Trinh-Duc (Montpellier) 10

Parra (Clermont) 9

Domingo (Clermont) 1

Servat (Toulouse) 2

Mas (Perpignan) 3

Nallet (Racing Metro) 4

Pape (Stade Français) 5

Dusautoir (Toulouse, c) 6

Ouedraogo (Montpellier) 7

Harinordoquy (Biarritz) 8

Replacements: 16 Szarzewski (Stade); 17 Ducalcon (Castres); 18 Pierre; 19 Bonnaire (both Clermont); 20 Élissalde (Toulouse); 21 Marty (Perpignan); 22 Clerc (Toulouse)

Scotland

Paterson (Edinburgh) 15

T Evans (Glasgow) 14

M Evans (Glasgow) 13

Morrison (Glasgow) 12

S Lamont (Scarlets) 11

Godman (Edin) 10

Cusiter (Glasgow, c) 9

Dickinson (Gloucester) 1

Ford (Edinburgh) 2

Low (Glasgow) 3

Hines (Leinster) 4

Kellock (Glasgow) 5

Brown (Glasgow) 6

Barclay (Glasgow) 7

Beattie (Glasgow) 8

Replacements: 16 S Lawson (Glouc); 17 Jacobsen (Edin); 18 Gray (Glasgow); 19 A MacDonald (Edin); 20 R Lawson (Glouc); 21 Grove (Worcester); 22 Southwell (Stade)

Referee N Owens (Wales)

Kick-off 3pm tomorrow TV BBC 1

Comments