Scotland look to put it right

  • Last Updated: November 15 2012, 7:29 GMT

Head coach Andy Robinson hopes Scotland can eliminate the errors which contributed to their heavy loss to New Zealand and beat South Africa in Saturday's EMC Test at Murrayfield.

Andy Robinson: 'Defensively is our key area'

Despite scoring three tries against the world champions Scotland lost 51-22, with the concession of three converted tries in 10 first-half minutes decisive.

Two years ago Robinson's men responded from a 49-3 loss to New Zealand by beating the then world champion Springboks 21-17 and the result must be repeated if Scotland are to have any hope of finishing the month in the world's top eight and thus claiming a favourable seeding for the December 3 2015 World Cup draw.

"We know we have to get out there and win the game if we want to affect what happens in the future," said Robinson, whose side's November campaign concludes against Tonga in Aberdeen on November 24.

"Defensively is our key area. To ship the points we shipped just before half-time, 24 points, was really disappointing.

"With the start that we'd made, to have New Zealand under that pressure, and then to release that pressure was disappointing for us.

"We've got a great opportunity to put it right."

Scotland have made two changes for the Springboks clash, with Euan Murray back at tighthead prop and David Denton starting in place of injured Edinburgh team-mate Ross Rennie (dislocated shoulder).

Murray returns from his Sunday absence because Robinson believes the 32-year-old remains his side's most formidable scrummager.

Given the injury troubles at prop in recent weeks it is likely Robinson asked devout Christian Murray if he would consider playing against New Zealand, but he remained absent.

Murray, who instead played his final match on loan for Agen on Saturday before his move to Worcester Warriors, will replace Edinburgh's Geoff Cross in the starting XV, in part due to the short duration between games.

"I still feel that Euan's our best tighthead prop, our most powerful scrummager," Robinson said.

"We're up against a very powerful South African pack. Just with the turnaround that we had I felt it was right that Euan got the start."

The second change to the starting XV was enforced, but rather than recall traditional openside John Barclay, who starts on the bench, Robinson opted to field Denton.

The Edinburgh back-row begins at number eight, with captain Kelly Brown switched to openside flanker.


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