x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Hadden stays upbeat as Scotland fail to live upto the hype

Frank Hadden is confident that Scotland will bounce straight back after their defeat to Wales in their Six Nations opener.

Frank Hadden is confident that Scotland will bounce straight back after their defeat to Wales in their Six Nations opener. Hadden's men were tipped to shine in this season's tournament after impressing against New Zealand and world champions South Africa in November. But they were outmuscled and outclassed in their opener on Sunday, with Hadden's experimental line-up second best to the Grand Slam champions in almost every department.

Scotland were beaten 26-13 and it could have been much worse had their opponents not missed a series of straightforward place-kicks, but Hadden refused to accept all their hard work from last autumn had been undone. "I don't think you can say that in one match," the Scotland coach said. "We're obviously bitterly disappointed with what happened. "But there's no question in my mind we have got a group of players of a enough ability to be very confident that we'll make progress."

Hadden is optimistic his team can bounce back away in France on Saturday in their second game of the tournament. "Obviously, we've got to make it quickly, which will be a tough ask for a six-day turnaround going to Paris, but I'm every confident we'll get better," he said. Hadden is expected to make changes for Saturday's trip to France, but he insisted injuries will be more of a factor than performances when it comes to picking his team, with forwards Euan Murray and Nathan Hines both likely to be out of action again.

Substitutes Chris Paterson and Max Evans scored Scotland's only points, the former kicking eight points and the latter going over for a late try, and both could feature from the start against France. Hadden addd: "Of course we'll be thinking about selection; we've already thought about selection for next week prior to this weekend. "But the first thing we need to do is just have a good look at the injury situation."

* PA Sport