How Scots will become 'competitive'
How Scots will become 'competitive'SHARE
Scotland coach Vern Cotter said must they take to heart the lessons learnt from their 49-point drubbing at the hands of South Africa.
The Springboks completed four matches in as many weeks with a 55-6 annihilation of Scotland at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth at the weekend.
The tourists were measured and weighed and found absolutely wanting by a ruthless South African side that fielded 13 changes from the side that secured a narrow victory over Wales in Mpumalanga last weekend.
Cotter accepted a dose of reality – the massive loss coming after wins in the first three Tests (against Canada, United States and Argentina) of the mid-year tour, with the Springboks representing a step up that it could not be overcome with so many youngsters.
"This game illustrated a lot of the things we are going to have to go away and work on to become competitive before the World Cup," Cotter said.
"Honestly, much as we hate losing, especially by a score like that, there are some very positive things to come out of it.
"Adam Ashe played his first game at 20, Grant Gilchrist has come in as captain and done exceptionally well. I think all the players have done well. If we take away what we gave South Africa and add more of what we tried to develop on the field, then we can improve.
"We have to repeat the good things and take away the bad stuff we didn't do well.
"If we don't offer as many opportunities to the opposition as we did today then we can shift in the right direction.
"It was a brave effort, the guys never gave up, now it is a question of channeling energy and decision making in the right way."
"Now it is just a question of channeling the energies and improve the decision-making."
Cotter said there will be questions, whether it was perhaps too much for his young troops.
"Fourth game, travelling around the world, was it a game too much?" he said pondering the wisdom of the month-long trip.
"The idea was to look at what we have and what we are going to do next."
Captain Grant Gilchrist
New caps Adam Ashe and Tyrone Holmes, and Alasdair Dickinson talk about the weekend's bruising encounter with South Africa and overall thoughts on the mid-year tour.