Ford - Indiscipline cost us
Ross Ford believes a bout of second half indiscipline was to blame for Scotland's 14-10 defeat to South Africa at Murrayfield.
Last Updated: 17/11/08 3:53pm
Hooker Ross Ford believes a bout of second half indiscipline was to blame for Scotland's 14-10 defeat to South Africa at Murrayfield.
The home side led the world champions 10-0 at the interval after 40 minutes of bravery and efficiency was capped by a close-range try from Nathan Hines.
Scotland's first try at Murrayfield gave the hosts genuine hope of repeating their 2002 victory over the Springboks.
The win would also have ensured that the Scots would avoid two of rugby's powerhouses in the Pool stage of the 2011 World Cup.
However, Frank Hadden's men were then guilty of conceding penalties all too frequently in the second period as referee Dave Pearce started to penalise them at the breakdown.
Those penalties gifted the world champions both possession and territory and they converted that dominance when replacement Jaque Fourie slid over in the corner.
Scotland now face the prospect of being drawn against the likes of the All Blacks and France in the Pool stage of the World Cup in New Zealand in three years' time.
But while Ford was unconcerned about that prospect he was understandably frustrated at how Scotland let the game slip from their grasp after half-time.
The 24-year-old said: "We knew we had to keep on top of them in the second half. It was all about being disciplined and streetwise but we weren't because the penalties helped them back into the game.
"They came out with a bit more spark after half-time but we also let ourselves down because we didn't really dominate them like we did in the first half and we did give them penalties.
"Everyone knows it was a good chance and it's obviously extremely disappointing. The IRB rankings and the World Cup draw doesn't come into it, we're just disappointed about not winning this game."
Ford - who felt the physicality of the Springboks was considerably greater than that the All Blacks the previous week - could however be pleased with his performance as he once again demonstrated that he is a Test-class hooker.
Along with tighthead prop Euan Murray, Ford has every chance of being on the plane to South Africa for the Lions tour next year.
If he is successful in the provincial games he could find himself coming face to face once more with a man he greatly admires, John Smit.
The Edinburgh hooker said: "It was always going to be physical against the South Africans and there was a big difference at the contact area. I think we handled ourselves well for most of the game.
"I was really pleased with how it went in the scrum and I enjoyed it. These games are ones you can call upon and obviously John Smit is a great hooker and I am pleased I managed to hold my own."