Cotter acknowledges late fortune in narrow win
June 15, 2014
Vern Cotter lamented the number of injuries sustained by Scotland © Getty Images
Scotland coach Vern Cotter acknowledged a key late refereeing call turned the game in his team's favour in Saturday's narrow 19-17 victory in Toronto.
Scotland had conceded a kickable penalty on their own 22, only for referee Mike Fraser to be alerted to an earlier piece of foul play, which resulted in him awarding a red card to Canada flanker Jeb Sinclair and giving the penalty to Scotland instead.
"The referee was on the field, so they made a decision based on what they saw," Cotter said. "It did change the match. They were attacking at that stage. We know little things make a difference and that was a little thing that turned out to be a big thing. It had a major effect on the result."
Cotter's biggest worry however, was the number of injuries sustained by his team. Although the major knocks were suffered by players due to go home after this match, it means Cotter has lost the chance to strengthen the squad in Argentina with some of the experienced internationals who were in action on Saturday.
The most serious case was Alasdair Strokosch, who was taken to hospital with a neck injury and kept in overnight, although the word back was that it was only for observation.
Fellow flanker Kelly Brown and Johnnie Beattie went off with arm and leg injuries respectively, while Ruaridh Jackson was concussed in the incident that led to Sinclair's red card.
"That is my major concern. We have two more games after losing three loose forwards and a No.10. We have a new group joining us but are still losing a number of players," Cotter said. "You can see there is an element of fatigue on the field and injuries don't help. We will have to look at other options.
"We are trying to do things and now we need to have a good look at how to do them better. We can change things but we need to get them right. We can repeat the good things we did and have to have a good look at ourselves on the rest."
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