Former Scotland fly-half John Rutherford has slammed claims by the English camp that his country did not try hard enough in its loss to Ireland, labelling them “nonsense”.
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Ireland claimed the Six Nations title after defeating Scotland 40-10 in their final game, meaning they finished with a better points differential than England despite the Stuart Lancaster’s men beating France 55-35 in a high-scoring encounter at Twickenham.
Some in the England camp suggested Scotland had not put in a strong enough effort against the Irish, with players Mike Brown and Ben Youngs particularly vocal, but Rutherford said it was solely down to the face that the Scots were inexperienced and low on confidence.
“There is no way Scotland weren’t trying,” Rutherford is quoted as saying by The Telegraph.
“That’s just nonsense. Ireland are a bloody good team, without a single weakness. A lot of those Irish players are right at the top of their game at the moment, while a lot of the Scotland players are really inexperienced.
“It is absolute crap to say the Scotland boys gave up. Those players just aren’t like that. I did worry about Scotland on Saturday because Ireland are so strong and they knew they had to score a lot of points. We are missing key players and we are low on confidence. If anything, it could have been worse.”
Rutherford served as his country’s assistant when Scotland claimed its first Five Nations title in 1999 and won 42 caps as a player for the national side.