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Parks shines for Scotland
Robinson deserves credit for Scotland progression
Posted Nov 21, 2010 by Jeff Dawson
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Former England coach Andy Robinson is working wonders with Scotland’s national rugby union team and deserves so much credit for how much they have turned their fortunes around.The Scottish proved that they can mix it up with the best as they held their nerve to get the better of reigning world champions South Africa as a rain soaked Murrayfield, winning 21-17 yesterday afternoon.The win owes a lot to the boot of Dan Parks which kicked six penalties and a drop goal to earn all 21 Scottish points. He was superb. It was an unerring display from the fly-half and the win goes some way to rectifying the mauling handed to Scotland by New Zealand last weekend.Although Scotland started shakily against the Springboks, Parks settled with nerves and put the home side 12-9 up at the break. He then added nine more points before a late Willem Alberts try made for a nerve-racking conclusion to a scrappy affair.What this game does show is that Scotland have improved and shows that they will definitely play a more active part in the coming Six Nations and World Cup than they have done in the past. In fact, they could be a good outside bet for the Six Nations at the start of next year if they can continue to improve at the rate they currently are.This result also shows that South Africa are no longer the force they were three years ago when they lifted the William Webb-Ellis cup. Although they still have many of the same players, age and a lack of consistency is costing them dealy.Of the three major southern hemisphere sides – Australia, New Zealand and South Africa – the Boks are the side to be less feared. They have talent, yes, but they aren’t playing as a team and aren’t showing the kind of form needed to win a world cup.The past few weekends of Autumn Tests have shown that the best in the world aren’t infallible and the 2011 world cup in New Zealand promises to be one t savour.