Scots eager to give Cotter winning send-off
EDINBURGH: Vern Cotter’s battered and bruised Scotland side will hope to give the Kiwi coach a winning send-off when they host pointless Italy at Murrayfield today.
The opening game on the final day of the Six Nations season is Cotter’s last before the former Clermont coach makes way for Scot Gregor Townsend and returns to the French Top 14 with Montpellier.
In his three-year stint the 55year-old New Zealander guided Scotland from 10th to fifth in the world rankings, came within a whisker of a World Cup semi-final and is guaranteed to depart as the first Scotland coach in the professional era to achieve a 50 per cent win ratio.
With 18 victories from 35 matches, Cotter’s tally stands at 51.4 per cent.
Despite the shuddering setback of last Saturday’s 61-21 defeat against England — Scotland’s heaviest points concession to their rivals — Cotter could also finish his tenure with the Scots’ highest Six Nations finish.
His team would take second place, behind England, if they beat Italy with a try bonus point, if Wales beat France without a bonus point and if Ireland lose to England.
“There’ll be a bit of sadness involved with it being the last game but first and foremost it’s about getting the performance,” said Cotter.
“Winning’s the most important thing. If someone had said beforehand that we’d have two wins with a game to go we’d probably have taken it.
“The players are really focused on an opportunity to finish well in this Six Nations.” AFP