If this press conference was a cartoon, there would have been a thundercloud over the head of Andy Robinson as he took apart his Scotland team’s performance today.
“We knew that was going to be a tough game. It became a fight and a mess – and we were not very good in the mess.”
On whether any progress had been made over the last three weeks, he was rueful.
“I thought after the South Africa and New Zealand games there was progress. Today obviously there is not.”
“It was hugely frustrating to watch, it makes you angry. You’ve got to be able to take the opportunities you’ve got.”
Kelly Brown was quizzed on that failure to take points in the first half: “We felt they were under pressure and we went for it.”
“It’s about taking our chances. That’s something I’ll be looking at as a captain. The coaches aren’t out there on the pitch.”
“We’ve shown when we nail it we can put any side under pressure but we’re not doing that for 80mins and we’re not doing it week after week.”
Asked if a team’s inability to score despite 75% possession was down to coaching, Robinson was forthright.
“That reflects on me, yes.”
“That was totally unacceptable. There will be consequences from that.”
Though he was unwilling to go into what those might be, he continued: “From that performance today there will be consequences and I will be at the forefront of those discussions.” With his defence and backs coaches dropped in recent memory and no second XV of great note waiting in the wings, where does that train of thought lead, if not to Robinson going off the cliff like Wile E. Coyote?
Bringing a bit of happiness to the proceedings, Tonga coach Mana ‘Otai was justifiably pleased with his players, saying “I’m very proud. The performance could have been better. As a coach there is always room for improvement. I’m certainly not criticising the effort that was put in.”
“The boys wrote a bit of history for themselves today.”
Tonga captain Nili Latu gave heavy praise to his pack, saying “The winning of the game was in the forwards. We thought if we could hang in there in the first half we would have a chance in the second.”
On just how they managed that he said “we wanted to control the ball more. We felt our forwards could muscle up in the first 20 minutes [of the second half] and we did that.”
He felt the period just before half time when Scotland couldn’t score set the benchmark for Tonga’s second half.
“The more games we get to play against Tier 1 nations the more we can improve. I was really proud of what Samoa did for Wales and we continued that today.”
“I said to the boys today we are either going to die or we are going to lose.”
“We played our heart out today for our nation.”