Blair bleak with ELV chaos

Mike Blair believes the inconsistent refereeing seen at Murrayfield was down to the subjective nature of the ELVs.

Both the Scotland captain and coach Frank Hadden were in agreement that Dave Pearson did a satisfactory job, and rather had a go at the new laws.

“The way the ruck is interpreted for an attacking and a defending side can vary, as there’s technically a penalty at every breakdown,” said Blair. “I thought he did referee that aspect of the game a touch harshly, I just wanted it to be the same for both teams.

Pearson nailed the Boks at the breakdown in the first half, but the Scots were heavily penalised in the second. Hadden believes this allowed the Boks back into the game.

“The game was there for the taking, but the momentum really changed when they were awarded five penalties or free-kicks in quick succession. We also should have closed the game out in the last 10 minutes when we had the opportunities,” said Hadden.

You would expect the Scotland side to be buzzing after coming so close to toppling the world champions, but there was nothing but disappointment on the coach’s face following the 14-10 defeat.

“It’s difficult to explain how gutting this result is for us. There’s been a lot of work been done in the past few years and since the advent of professionalism Scotland have found it difficult to cling to their position at the top table due to our limited resources. I feel that we are slowly but surely winning the battle and progressing steadily.”

Saturday’s bruising encounter has taken it’s toll, as Hadden confirmed that Chris Paterson (cheek), Thom Evans (leg), Rory Lamont (neck), Euan Murray (cheek), Scott Gray (knee), Allister Hogg (stitches), Phil Godman (stitches), Hugo Southwell (shin), Dan Parks (back) and John Barclay (shoulder) are all concerns ahead of the Canada match next week.