Scotland’s Dickinson frustrated over ‘lottery’ at scrums

Alasdair Dickinson is tackled by Simone Favaro

Alasdair Dickinson is tackled by Simone Favaro

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Prop Alasdair Dickinson criticised George Clancy following the Irish referee’s controversial performance as Scotland slumped to their third defeat of this year’s RBS Six Nations after going down 22-19 to Italy at BT Murrayfield.

But, while Dickinson admitted the Dark Blues “should have stopped” the driving mauls Italy used to devastating effect as they stormed back to win with a last-gasp penalty try, the Edinburgh forward insisted Clancy did nothing to help them at the scrum.

The set-piece duel was held up time and again in the first half as the official lectured both sides on their engage method before finally scolding the front-rowers for showing a “terrible attitude”.

But Dickinson admitted he had no idea what the referee’s issue was.

The 31-year-old said: “I think he was making a mountain out of a molehill at times. I better stay politically correct with the media or I’ll get in trouble – but when he let us scrum, we scrummed really well and got penalties.

“It was just frustrating that it seemed to take an age to set up.

“The scrum is so heavily regulated now, but it seems like front-rows don’t know anything about scrummaging any more – and refs do.

“It can be a lottery at times, but what can you do? As players we are not allowed to talk to the ref about what we can do to solve it or what issue he sees.”