'Robbed blind', fumes Scots coach after France game

6th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 5 (AFP) - Angry Scotland coach Matt Williams launched a bitter attack on the officials after his brave side lost their opening Six Nations clash to France 16-9 here on Saturday.

PARIS, Feb 5 (AFP) - Angry Scotland coach Matt Williams launched a bitter attack on the officials after his brave side lost their opening Six Nations clash to France 16-9 here on Saturday.

Williams was furious at a number of decisions made by Welsh referee Nigel Williams and claimed a second half try by Allister Hogg should have been allowed.

Instead, the try was ruled out for Hogg having a foot in touch although TV replays showed the decision to have been wrong.

"I am outraged at losing. That match was won by Scotland. Terrible decisions have cost us the match, we have been robbed blind," said Williams after seeing his team come agonisingly close to beating the defending champions.

They led throughout the match at the Stade de France until the last five minutes but were eventually beaten by a late try from Biarritz centre Damien Traille.

"Jon Petrie was sin-binned but was nowhere near the ball. Hogg was called out and he wasn't out. Chris Cusiter was under the posts in the first half and brought back for a tight-head bind when the ball was clearly out of the scrum," said a disappointed Williams.

Scotland had been widely tipped to be crushed by the French after an autumn period which had seen the country's rugby infrastructure torn apart by infighting.

They had also been mauled 45-10 by the Springboks at Murrayfield in November in their last international outing.

"We said all week that we wanted to put in a performance that we could be proud of and make the nation proud because a lot of bad things have been said about Scottish rugby," said the coach.

"Only the players could show leadership and they were fantastic today. I am outraged at the decisions made out there. I don't want to dwell on them because they overshadow the courageousness of the team."

Despite the defeat, Williams believes that the Scots can still do themselves proud in the Six Nations.

"We had a reasonably good autumn - we just had a bad day against South Africa. We were horrid," he said.

"It has been stewing and sitting with us. We just didn't want to feel like that again. I don't feel much better thinking about it but the performance was tremendous.

"When you see a display like that today, I don't have to say anything. It was a loss which even the fairest supporter would say was pretty lucky for France."

© AFP

Subject: French News

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