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Friday 15 December 2017

Steadman blames Scots' discipline as team eye first win

Defence coach Graham Steadman (pictured) insists Scotland will deserve the Six Nations wooden spoon if they lose their final match of the campaign in Ireland on Saturday.

Andy Robinson's men have dominated three of the four games they have played in the tournament but have failed to win any of them, meaning they prop up the table.

Ex-rugby league international Steadman has pulled no punches in his assessment of where Scotland's players have gone wrong, claiming they only have themselves to blame.

"The bottom line is we're in the position we're in because they've not taken the opportunities they've created," Steadman said.

"So there'll be no excuses coming from me. What has cost us at crucial stages of the games is discipline.

"When the pressure has been on, I would question our ability to handle it in the latter stages, certainly in the games against Italy and Wales.

"We've got to learn a harsh lesson and that lesson is, with the quality of goalkickers that all international teams have at their disposal now, you can't give them soft points.

"And, on the back of that, you can't give them soft, quick field position because these teams will punish you."

Despite their results, Scotland have earned plenty of plaudits for their performances. Saturday's Calcutta Cup draw saw them succeed in preventing the opposition scoring a try for the first time in the tournament but Steadman was far from happy, saying they got lucky.

"I thought it was one of our worst defensive displays of the Six Nations to date," he said. "Players weren't scanning and mirroring what the opposition were doing."

Despite this criticism, ex-Ireland defensive coach Steadman is also confident Scotland do have the potential to upset Triple Crown-chasing Ireland this weekend.

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