Robinson quits in wake of Scotland humiliation
Andy Robinson warned there would be consequences following his Scotland side's numbing defeat by Tonga and, within hours of making the prediction, he proved himself right by quitting as national coach.
Not for the first time in recent years, the Scots are approaching a Six Nations tournament with no clear idea of who will pick and prepare a team whose place in the world rankings is likely to slip to a lowly 12th as a result of the calamity in Aberdeen.
Robinson's decision was announced less than 24 hours after he had watched his players fall flat on their faces against a fast-improving, but less than daunting group of South Seas tourists.
As is the way of sporting severance agreements these days, his immediate reaction to the performance – "It was totally unacceptable and I'm very angry; it reflects on me as a coach," he said after the final whistle – was significantly more forthright than his resignation statement, in which he thanked those who had supported him since his appointment three years ago and argued that he had "left the side in a better position" than he found it.
After last year's winless Six Nations, Scotland's summer tour of Australia and the Pacific Islands threw a more positive light on things – there were wins over the Wallabies, Fiji and Samoa – but all-too-predictable failures against New Zealand and South Africa earlier this month made Tonga a must-win fixture. The result left Robinson contemplating an unenviable record of 10 defeats in 13 Tests, stretching back to last year's World Cup, when the team failed to survive the pool stages for the first time.
Chief executive of the Scottish Rugby Union Mark Dodson indicated Robinson would have been sacked had he not left of his own volition. "Andy has overseen some fine results as head coach since he was appointed in June 2009, but the recent defeats have been very disappointing," Dodson said, adding that a recruitment process was now under way.
Nick Mallett will be placed at the top of the candidates' list, but in the meantime, assistant coach Scott Johnson will run the show.
(© Independent News Service)