Parks confident of quick turnaround

Scotland fly-half Dan Parks is confident his country can quickly bounce back from their Calcutta Cup mauling by England in the opening round of the Six Nations.

The Scots are licking their wounds after a 42-20 defeat in their Six Nations opener at Twickenham but fly-half Parks insists there are plenty of positives to take into Saturday’s home game against Wales.

In an encouraging opening, Parks twice lofted the ball over Jason Robinson’s head to set up the position for Edinburgh team-mate Simon Taylor to poach a try from England’s line-out close to the line.

But Robinson gained his revenge with a couple of well-taken tries on his return to international duty, the first in fortuitous fashion after Sean Lamont failed to avert the danger created by Harry Ellis’ grubber kick.

That try came in the middle of a 25-point scoring burst as England wrapped up the game and Twickenham roared on returning hero Jonny Wilkinson.

“It was tough,” said Parks. “They were very good in every facet of the game.

“We were there for 50 minutes. It was 17-13 and we were right in there but Sean made a bit of an error at the back and Robinson capitalised.”

Although Wilkinson, extremely fortunate to be awarded a try by video referee Donal Courtney, was named man of the match, Parks had no doubt that England’s match-winner was his half-back partner Ellis.

“Ellis was really good,” he said. “I think he was the difference. He was outstanding. For some reason, we couldn’t control him around the edges. He kept making so much ground and it hurt us.

“It was frustrating because our defence was so good a year ago. They were making so many yards with the maul, we had to throw extra numbers in and he capitalised.

“It wasn’t one of our better days but, for 50 minutes, I thought we competed really well and did a lot of good things.

“As it turned out, it got away from us. From 17-13, all of a sudden it was 37-13 and bit of a knock to us, but we scored a late try and got a bit of pride back.

“There’s still plenty there, we’ve got a lot to work with.”

Replacement Rob Dewey was Scotland’s other try scorer and captain Chris Paterson kicked four goals from five attempts.

Coach Frank Hadden was livid over the decision to award Wilkinson his try and also claimed Robinson’s first score was a 50-50 call but he was able to draw some comfort from his team’s performance.

“Obviously we’re very disappointed with the outcome,” he said. “We came down to win the game and we failed to do that.

“Having said that, I thought we gave as good as we got for a good part of the game.

“You just need everything to go your way to get the sort of outcome we were after and it was obvious things weren’t going for us.

“I was concerned all week that something freakish might have happen to affect the outcome of the game.”

365 Digital

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