'Stern' Vern Cotter gets emotional on hearing Flower of Scotland on his return to Murrayfield

Vern Cotter said it was emotional to be back at Murrayfield as he reflected on a positive performance from his Fiji side.

Fiji coach Vern Cotter arrives at Murrayfield to take on his former side, Scotland.  (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Fiji coach Vern Cotter arrives at Murrayfield to take on his former side, Scotland. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

The tourists led 12-7 as the match edged towards half-time but they conceded just before the interval and eventually lost 28-12 to Scotland. Cotter, who coached the Scots for three years before making a tearful exit after the final game of the 2017 Six Nations, said his return to Edinburgh had stirred some good memories.

“I’m not a great one to talk about myself but it was [emotional],” said Cotter. “It was moving but I had my eye on these [Fiji] boys. It’s a great stadium and it’s a great moment for any rugby player or coach to hear the Flower of Scotland.”

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Lest anyone think Stern Vern had gone soft, the coach was not happy with his side’s indiscipline which manifested itself in 18 penalties and sin-binnings for Ratu Leone Rotuisolia, Vinaya Habosi and Livai Natave.

“It’s very hard to win a Test match with three yellow cards,” said the coach. “I thought the guys defended well and there were great moments in our play but we couldn’t string them all together and those patches where we were down to 14 were difficult for everybody.

“So there are those things to work on. We got what we wanted – we didn’t want that score but we certainly got content to work on which is what we need to progress. Our objective is to progress through this series of three matches as we head ourselves towards the World Cup.

“We were in it at half time. There was belief in the team. We got into the 22 a couple of times and I think the more time we spend together the more points we’ll get from those situations. So there was great effort from the boys. Once again, at that level, you’ve got to be more accurate.”

Next up for Fiji is a trip to Dublin to face world No 1-ranked Ireland next weekend.

Vern Cotter catches up with Stuart Hogg before the match. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

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