Cotter staying grounded after win


Published: Saturday 8th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Scotland head coach Vern Cotter insists Scotland will not get carried away with their five-try 41-31 win over Argentina.

The Dark Blues were magnificent for an hour at Murrayfield as they bounced back from Javier Ortega Desio’s shock opener after just 90 seconds.

Both Gray brothers – Richie and Jonny – scored in their first ever match playing together before Sean Maitland, Stuart Hogg and Tommy Seymour crossed over.

But when the hosts were forced to play the final 20 minutes with 14 men as first Rob Harley and then Jim Hamilton were sin-binned, Argentina were allowed to restore some pride.

Having struggled to get out of their half, the Pumas were finally able to force some pressure and were rewarded with a penalty try ahead of Tomas Cubelli’s late double.

The win comes 364 days since their last victory on home soil – a 42-17 triumph over Japan – but there is a much more daunting task awaiting them in a week’s time when New Zealand visit Edinburgh.

And Cotter knows the All Blacks will not let his side have it so easy.

He said: “Losing a try after 90 seconds was a tough way to start. We had the ball and were looking dangerous but got turned over and that finished with a try against the run of play.

“But what was really pleasing was that we turned things around and scored so quickly.

“I really enjoyed watching the players play for each other. Several times when we were a man down with yellow cards, I saw players get up of the ground and help their team-mates.

“And of course to score five tries was great as well. We varied our play well which was good too.

“But there are things to work on. We are certainly not getting carried away. We are playing the best team in the world next week.”

Cotter admits he will have to review the yellow cards which left his side up against it in the latter stages, b ut he was proud of the way his men battled on.

“We will be looking at where we conceded penalties and I’m sure there will be a lot of player input as well,” said the Kiwi after his first home match in charge.

“The boys were quick to point out in the changing room that they were disappointed with that so it will be something we look at.

“But there was also a lot of character shown in that period.”

Greig Laidlaw skippered the side after Cotter’s original choice as captain, Grant Gilchrist, was ruled out of the autumn Tests through injury.

But he made a case that he should keep the honour on a permanent basis with two moments of defence-splitting brilliance as he set up Maitland and Hogg for their scores while also kicking 14 points.

Laidlaw was making his first return to Murrayfield since leaving Edinburgh for Gloucester in the summer but the scrum-half reckons the move has done wonders for his game.

He said: “I’ve got the spring back in my step after going down to Gloucester. There is strong competition down there and you get the feeling playing the Premiership that you have to win games week in, week out.

“Playing in pressure games has helped me, as has just moving to a new club where you have to prove yourself again. That has certainly brought my game on.

“Coming back up, I also knew that Henry Pyrgos and Chris Cusiter are playing well so I had to be on my toes.”

Published: Saturday 8th November 2014 by The News Editor

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