Veni . . . vidi . . . vici . . . Ven­ditti . . .

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Rugby Six Nations -

ANDY ROBIN­SON to­day be­gan a pe­riod of in­tro­spec­tion over his fu­ture as Scot­land head coach as play­ers clung to the few pos­i­tives from a Six Na­tions cam­paign which ended with the wooden spoon.

Scot­land suf­fered a Six Na­tions white­wash for the first time since 2004 as their win­less se­quence was ex­tended to seven Tests – the worst run since 1998.

Robin­son, who is un­der con­tract un­til the 2015 World Cup, in­sisted he would take time to re­flect be­fore de­ter­min­ing his fu­ture af­ter a re­view with Scot­tish Rugby Union chief ex­ec­u­tive Mark Dod­son.

Scot­land ap­peared close to pro­duc­ing a pos­i­tive re­sult in the losses to Eng­land, Wales and France, but the dis­plays against Ire­land and Italy were dis­ap­point­ing and Robin­son was left with two wins from 15 Six Na­tions matches in charge.

Whether Robin­son sees enough in the young play­ers at his dis­posal – among them Richie Gray, Ross Ren­nie, David Den­ton, Greig Laid­law, Stu­art Hogg and Lee Jones – to en­cour­age him to stay in his po­si­tion re­mains to be seen.

Den­ton, the 22-year-old ram­pag­ing Ed­in­burgh num­ber eight, has im­pressed and hopes Robin­son will re­main in charge.

Den­ton said: “We all hope he’ll stay. I think we can build some­thing spe­cial un­der him, with the group we’ve got. I think we can be a force to be reck­oned with.”

Robin­son has al­ready be­gun a coach­ing over­haul and the Rome loss was the last match for Gra­ham Stead­man and Gre­gor Townsend, the de­fence and at­tack coach, re­spec­tively.

Scott John­son is set to join as se­nior as­sis­tant coach and Matt Tay­lor as de­fence coach, ap­point­ments which sug­gest Robin­son is com­mit­ted to the cause de­spite the damn­ing re­sults.

Wing Gio­van­bat­tista Ven­ditti scored the game’s only try when he burst through early in the sec­ond half af­ter a dour open­ing 40 min­utes in which each side ex­changed a penalty.

Mirco Berga­m­asco kicked a penalty and Kristo­pher Bur­ton added a con­ver­sion and a late drop goal for the hosts, while Greig Laid­law kicked two penal­ties for a Scot­land side who were once again un­done by mis­takes and ill-dis­ci­pline, los­ing Nick De Luca and Jim Hamil­ton to the sin bin.

Frus­trated ref­eree Alain Rol­land summed up the poor en­ter­tain­ment on dis­play dur­ing a poor first half, telling both packs “they were spoil­ing it for ev­ery­one”. ITALY: Masi, Ven­ditti, Ben­venuti, Canale, Berga­m­asco, Bur­ton, Gori, Lo Cicero, On­garo, Cas­tro­gio­vanni, Gelden­huys, Bortolami, Zanni, Bar­bieri, Parisse, Botes. Re­place­ments: Cit­ta­dini for Lo Cicero (52 mins), Vo­sawai for Bar­bieri ( 56 mins), D’apice for On­garo (59 mins), Botes for Gori (66 mins), To­nio­latti for Canale ( 69 mins), Favaro for Botes (71 mins), Furno for Gelden­huys ( 75 mins). Sin Bin: Zanni (65). SCOT­LAND: Hogg, Evans, De Luca, Mor­ri­son, La­mont, Laid­law, Blair, Ja­cob­sen, Ford, Cross, Gray, Hamil­ton, Bar­clay, Ren­nie, Den­ton. Re­place­ments: Mur­ray for Cross (52), Kel­lock for Gray (54), Jack­son for Laid­law, Ver­non for Bar­clay (69). Subs not used: Law­son, Cusiter, Cuth­bert. Sin bin: De Luca (38 mins), Hamil­ton (54 mins). Ref­eree: A Rol­land (Ire­land)

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