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Cotter not getting through to Scots
28 Feb 2015 20:08
Scotland head coach Vern Cotter concedes his "message" is not getting through to his players after watching them crash to their third RBS 6 Nations defeat on the spin.
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The Dark Blues' faces were left matching their crimson red change strip as they threw away victory against Italy with a late collapse - leaving them near certainties to take home the Wooden Spoon.
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Having struggled to deal with the Azzurri's driving mauls and referee George Clancy's pedantic officiating at the scrum, the Scots found themselves a man light as debutant lock Ben Toolis was sin-binned two minutes from time.
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And the visitors to Murrayfield clinched a 22-19 victory when Clancy's patience finally ran out as he awarded a penalty try after Scotland resorted to another infringement just inches from their own goal-line in a desperate bid to halt Italy's last-gasp surge. It was the 14th foul committed by Cotter's men and came after penalty-littered defeats to France and Wales.
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The Kiwi had warned Scotland to be on their best behaviour but after falling to the Italians for the seventh time in 15 years, he said: "I'm obviously not getting the message across. That's one of those things that has been spoken about and it needs to be taken on board.
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"I still think there is a lot of growth in this side. Things have gone forward. We just need to address a couple of simple things which will help us change and control outcomes better."
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But Cotter also admitted he will have to take his share of the blame.
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Asked if he regretted replacing skipper Greig Laidlaw with five minutes to go just as the Italians were turning the screw, he said: "Not just that. I'm responsible for the defeat so I will be having a good look at myself and how we can move forward."
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