Johnson laments Scots' penalty count

Date published: March 8 2014

Scotland boss Scott Johnson has questioned the heavy penalty count against his side throughout the Six Nations.

Scotland boss Scott Johnson has questioned the heavy penalty count against his side throughout the Six Nations.

Speaking after the Scots' gut-wrenching 19-17 loss to France on Saturday, the Australian admitted there would be “one or two conversations” behind the scenes.

The match was decided by a last-minute Jean-Marc Doussain penalty, overshadowing the thirteen infringements made by Scotland, versus five by the Murrayfield visitors.

Indeed, Scotland sit atop the penalty count for the entire tournament, their indiscipline proving especially damaging this week.

Johnson, declaring himself “gutted” after the last-gasp defeat, complained that the well-documented differences in the law interpretations of elite referees are costing his side.

“Last week, we went into half time nine-two down on the penalty count, this week ten-two down,” said a frustrated Johnson.

“We've got look at ourselves first and foremost; I'm not into ragging out referees.

“But when the competition's as close as it is, I find that swing in penalties, especially the fifty-fifty calls can be tough to justify.

“There might be a couple of conversations going on outside the rugby pitch.

“The last penalty was probably deserved; it was just one of those things. I was disappointed with the one before that, that let France get back down to our 22 on 76 minutes. We had the ball and we should have controlled that.

“We're trying to get uniformity across our legislations. But the differences between each individual referee – I know they're working hard, I know they've got a job to do, but they're just too different. We're coaching depending on who's refereeing; I've got a huge list on each referee.

“We accept that we're the largest part of that, but it's just frustrating when we don't seem to be getting any crumbs coming our way.

“The fact is, in a competition as close as this, we're leading the game, and we're down ten to two on penalty count. I smell something there. That doesn't sit well.”

By Jamie Lyall at Murrayfield
@JLyall93

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