Six Nations

Cotter pleased with progress

2015-02-08 11:46
Vern Cotter (AFP)

Paris - New Zealand-born coach Vern Cotter believes his Scotland side are heading in the right direction despite losing their Six Nations opener 15-8 to France.

Dougie Fife scored the only try of Saturday's match, his first for the Scots in only his fourth appearance, but five Camille Lopez penalties ensured Scotland's 16-year wait for a win in Paris goes on.

Yet, ahead of next weekend's clash with Wales, Cotter believes his side are taking great strides.

"It was a very physical game, it ebbed and flowed. I thought we adapted well going from attack to defence," said the former Clermont coach.

"We did spend time in the middle part of the second half in our half of the field but the guys who came on brought energy and did what we asked of them.

"That helped. It was one of those days when they hit the post and the ball went in while we hit the post and the ball went out.

He added: "I'm glad. We were in the contest the whole time, it could have gone either way.

"It went to the French team, who played well. It's a good start from our guys and we'll be talking about lifting the performance for next week."

Cotter, whose side had won five of their first seven games under his stewardship before this reverse, insisted the fact his side were disappointed in running France so close in Paris was a good sign.

"It's obvious to me when they were coming off they were very frustrated and disappointed. It's probably a good emotion to have moving forward because obviously we want to do better than the final score," he said.

"There's real determination in the group to improve. There were some very good things in that game, some positive things and we're just developing those and moving forward."

It was Scotland's ability to compete with France even when the hosts started to open up that pleased Cotter.

"They (France) played a direct, physical match with lots of commitment.

"They, like us, had chances to score tries but they didn't.

"Overall they're a very powerful team in the middle of the pitch with (Mathieu) Bastareaud and Wesley (Fofana).

"We defended well and limited the space they had on the pitch. We know they're very dangerous, they pushed us backwards when running the ball and had us in trouble a few times.

"We knew it would be tough, they'd lost their last one here against Argentina and we knew after what happened here recently they'd be very motivated."

Read more on:    scotland  |  six nations  |  vern cotter  |  rugby

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