Sarah Robertson says Scotland women must learn lessons after Commonwealth Games disappointment

Scotland skipper Sarah Robertson says lessons must be learned quickly after her team finished sixth in the Commonwealth Games women’s hockey tournament in Birmingham.

The Tartan Hearts were looking to equal their best Games finish, fifth, achieved on two separate occasions, but after being beaten 3-1 by Canada in the fifth/sixth place play-off Robertson could not hide her disappointment.

The 28-year-old said: “We did not have a lot of opportunities and they punished us when their own opportunities came along and that came from our sloppiness."

The Borders-born Olympian was disappointed in the way the squad started the game against the Canadians, ranked No 15 in the world, two places above Scotland.

Scotland captain Sarah Robertson knows her team must pick themselves up quickly, with more big games coming up. Picture: Craig Watson

The Great Britain squad member said and it was a strange challenge having four days off during a tournament and coming back out after the 2-0 defeat to world No 3 Australia on Wednesday.

Robertson, a former University of Edinburgh star now playing for London club, Hampstead & Westminster, added: “Lessons to be learned for our team for sure. We park this and move on as we have another tournament in two weeks’ time in Dunkirk, France, and we must make sure we retain our place at the top tier of European hockey.

“We have three big games coming up in France and we need to make sure we are firing then.”

Robertson added: “Every game is a lesson at this level and we have nine people playing their first Commonwealth Games and a number of young players.

"Two people got their first caps in our first game in Birmingham but, for some of us, this tournament is not new.

"Some of us have been in three or four of these events and for some of us it is very disappointing to get that lesson again."

Despite the defeat, Robertson firmly believes the Scotland squad in general is heading in the right direction. The next Commonwealth Games is in Melbourne.

She added: “I hope most of the group can stick around and we can go on to achieve something special in four years’ time.”

Basically, Scotland, who beat the Canadian side 2-1 in a 30-minute match in the week before the Games, were second best here.

The robust North American combine fielded two experienced players up-front with a total of 390 caps and 146 goals between them and they opened up Scotland in their first attack after four minutes, Hannah Haughn netting at the back post after a bustling run from Brienne Stairs, Canada's top marksman with 108 international goals to her credit.

Scotland dug in and levelled after 15 minutes, Edinburgh University’s Amy Costello converting low to the goalkeeper's right from a penalty corner.

The Scots were struggling to find any real rhythm but at least had a foothold, but two minutes later the deadly Stairs/Haughn combination counted for a second time, Haughn providing the finishing touch close in after another driving run by Stairs had cut open the Tartan Hearts.

Scotland's sporadic attacks failed to put the Canadians under any consistent pressure and it was no surprise when Karli Johansen netted No 3 after 41 minutes from a penalty corner award.

When the Scots did break through they found Canada's two goalkeepers, emerging talent Marcia Laplante and experienced Rowan Harris equal to the task.