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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 February 2008, 20:31 GMT
Scotland leave Hadden exasperated
Brian O'Driscoll  is held off by Scotland's Alasdair Strokosch
Strokosch (right) had an impressive debut for Scotland
Scotland coach Frank Hadden was at a loss to explain his side's inability to turn pressure into tries after the 34-13 defeat by Ireland.

"I'm not sure what it is when we get into the opposition 22," he said.

"We lost two line-outs again, gave away a really soft penalty on the opposition line and the ball shot out of a five-metre scrum.

"I am just not quite sure how to address these issues. We are creating opportunities but not taking them."

Hadden took some consolation out of a better performance after Scotland's third Six Nations defeat in a row.

"We actually played a bit better than last time, but that's not reflected in our scoring record," he said.

Alasdair Strokosch was tremendous I thought

Scotland coach Frank Hadden

"If we give away a couple of soft tries, with the kind of points total the opposition is getting, the target's just too much for us because we are not slick enough with our attacking play and we're not sharp enough with our cutting edge.

"We certainly came here with a positive mind-set.

"And it was a relief to get a try because we created so many chances.

"But we turned over too much ball, we gave away some incredibly soft penalties and, although we probably dominated the territory and possession, we did not look like opening up the Irish defence enough.

"We were making ground. But, having so many phases to make 20 or 30 yards, we did not have the cutting edge that the Irish had oh too easily every time they came into our half."

However, Hadden had praise for Gloucester flanker Alasdair Strokosch on his first international start.


"Alasdair Strokosch was tremendous I thought," said the coach.

"He really stepped up to the plate on his full debut and put in a tremendous shift."

Hadden was unable to shed any light on the condition of James Hamilton, despite fears the Leicester lock has suffered a broken leg.

Hamilton came on for Ally Hogg during the second half but was stretchered off late on.

"He certainly felt that he had a problem with his shin, but we will just have to wait for the outcome of the x-ray," said Hadden.

Ireland 34-13 Scotland
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