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Robinson may quit as Scotland boss

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Andy Robinson coach of Scotland has apologised to their fans after they went down to Tonga. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Aberdeen, United Kingdom – Andy Robinson has refused to rule out quitting as Scotland supremo in the wake of his team's humiliating 21-15 defeat by Tonga.

It took the coach more than an hour to appear at the post-match media grilling – and speculation was rising over his immediate future following the autumn Test series whitewash.

Three times, raging Robinson declared: “That was totally unacceptable out there. I am very angry – I apologise to all Scotland fans.

“There will be consequences, but I will not reveal what they will be.”

When asked if the aftermath will include his own future, Robinson replied: “I will look at everything.

“I have got a contract until 2015 – but there needs to be consequences after this.

“I will be discussing the situation (with SRU chief executive Mark Dodson). I will have a meeting with him at some stage but that will be between him and me.”

Tonga coach Mana Otai rubbed salt in the Scotland wounds by claiming his men didn't even have to be at their best to beat them at Pittodrie.

Though he insisted it was arguably the best result in his nation's sporting history, Otai stated: “It was a pretty good performance in alien conditions – but it could have been better.

“There were aspects of the match we did not execute properly and so we have work to do.

“However the bottom line is that I am very, very proud of what the boys achieved.

“It is right up there with the greatest things that have happened in Tongan rugby – right up there with beating France in the World Cup in New Zealand last year.”

His sentiments were echoed by skipper Nli Latu.

“Our time has arrived – we are now senior players because we have come to Europe and earned a victory against a top grade nation,” he said.

The Tongans came out with all guns blazing and their rousing early endeavours forced the Scots into giving away a penalty as Al Strokosch illegally entered a ruck.

There was a reprieve for the hosts, however when stand-off Fangatapu 'Apikotoa sent his 40-metre strike narrowly wide.

They kept up the pressure and 'Apikotoa was handed an immediate chance to make amends from closer range.

And this time his aim was true to give his side the lead.

Scotland hit back positively and quickly with a promising raid, however there was more frustration as Greig Laidlaw's angled penalty rebounded from the upright, allowing Tonga to clear the danger.

They maintained the momentum and a fine Laidlaw cross kick sparked panic among the Tongan back ranks.

And the fly-half followed in the footsteps of his opposite number by banging over his second pot at goal in the 11th minute.

Scotland hooker Scott Lawson was driven over the line in the wake of a well-executed rolling maul, however the video referee ruled he had failed to ground the ball.

It was then Scotland's turn to show off their defensive strengths as Tonga mounted a spate of raids.

Scotland were given further incentive seven minutes before half time when lock Tukulua Lokotui was sinbinned for dangerous tactics in the line out.

Having failed to breach the visiting markers, Scotland resorted to the boot – Laidlaw's penalty giving them the edge.

The crowd volume rose when Sean Lamont bashed his way down the middle to create a clear-cut chance.

They couldn't turn the good work into a touchdown, however they collected another three points from Laidlaw's accuracy.

The contest burst into life in the 51st minute as Tonga snatched a surprise lead.

Lokotui more than made up for his yellow card by burrowing over for a try from point-blank range, giving 'Apikotoa a simple conversion.

Laidlaw instantly eased the Scots anxiety by adding a fourth penalty –and repeated the dose midway through the half.

But still Tonga looked more clinical in attack and 'Apikotoa narrowed the gap with his next strike.

Even better was to come for the tourists as winger Fetu'u Vainikolo left his cover for dead with two dazzling dummies and galloped in for a superb solo try from his own half.

The tension-level jumped when debut substitute Tom Heathcote watched in agony as his first shot at goal dipped under the crossbar.

And Scotland's task grew even harder as 'Apikotoa found the target again. – Sapa-AFP


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