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Rugby, Australian Football: Ireland secure 40-13 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield.

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posted on Feb, 12 2005 @ 12:55 PM
Matt Williams is confident he has a future as Scotland coach despite Ireland's resounding 40-13 win in today's RBS 6 Nations Championship clash at Murrayfield. The hosts started brightly and scored a try through Hugo Southwell but Ireland hit back with Malcolm O'Kelly, Paul O'Connell and Denis Hickie making the game safe for the visitors. John Hayes and Gavin Duffy crossed late on to rub salt in the Scottish wounds and left Williams still searching for his first Six Nations win after seven attempts.

He said: "I'm very relaxed with how we are. I'm not worried about my team and am absolutely not considering my position.

"When we came in we looked around and said it would take 12 to 18 months to turn it round. We said in that time there would be some good results and some bad ones.

"That's where we are at the moment. We lack consistency and the last two weeks show that perfectly.

"We put in a great effort over 80 minutes in Paris and then we've not played well here today just seven days later.

"I'm here for the long haul, I'm here for four years."

Williams, who joked that every coach doubts his own ability five minutes before every game, believes consistency and concentration are the two aspects of the game his team must strive for. The Australian said: "When you come up against someone like Ireland, if you make mistakes you will be punished.

"Silly mistakes like simple dropped catches are letting us down. That, and a lack of concentration at times.

"I felt we occasionally lacked concentration in maul situations. At times we stopped them well but other times we allowed them to get going.

"If you allow a maul to get up some momentum then in international rugby you are going to struggle to stop it from five yards out," added Williams, referring to O'Kelly's try following a catch and drive from the Irish pack.

Williams also believes his team could have followed the game plan more strictly but was encouraged by the enthusiasm showed by his team. He said: "I think the fans will be able to see that we were trying right to the end. In fact their last try was down to us trying to run it at them.

"But sometimes we kicked the ball too easily back at them. They had four or five players back waiting for the kick, which is the Munster way, and we kicked it to them too often when we could have run it back.

"It doesn't necessarily have to be spun out wide, just run back up the middle. We didn't do it enough, especially after the first 25 minutes.

"In that first quarter we scored a good try and but for a pass that should have gone later we could have had another one.

"After their try before half-time, which was a real blow, we came out well and I was proud of the way we tried to battle back and all credit to Willie (Anderson, Scotland forwards coach) for the set-piece try Jon Petrie scored."


[Edited on 12/2/05 by TRD]


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