Strokosch driven on by drubbing in Cardiff

Al Strokosch
Al Strokosch
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Al Strokosch will go into his third meeting with Wales and the first at BT Murrayfield with revenge in mind when the teams meet on Sunday in the RBS Six Nations Championship.

One of those appearances was the 51-3 drubbing at Cardiff 12 months ago and the mental pain is still as raw as the physical hurt of breaking a hand in the previous encounter with the Dragons.

“That was a massive hurt last time but a big motivation this year. We got humiliated by Wales players swan-diving over (try) line and singing at the after match meal. There was a big insult and it’s not going to happen again,” said the 41 times former Boroughmuir and Edinburgh flanker.

Scotland were weakened by Stuart Hogg’s sending off just after Strokosch had come on entering the second quarter as a replacement for the injured Kelly Brown.

Strokosch recalled: “I came on and two minutes later Hoggy went off.

“Everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong although having one player off is not an excuse to lose 50 points. It’s a bit harder playing with 14 men but it is not 50 points harder than it should have been. You can blame Hoggy for doing something stupid (a shoulder charge on Dan Biggar) but you can’t hold the result against him.

“I was angry, upset, gutted, disappointed. You move on and hope for a chance to make up for it.

“Unfinished business? Yes, big time.

“It was the worst defeat I’ve ever had, the manner in which we folded over didn’t do the team, ourselves, anything, justice. It was embarrassing and doesn’t leave you straight away. It’s still something there to think about.”

Although he has been plying his trade in France for the past three years at Perpignan, Strokosch didn’t come across Scotland coach Vern Cotter while he was at Clermont Auvergne.

But the pair have hit it off at Murrayfield with Strokosch insisting: “This squad is brilliant. Vern is a really strong character who inspires respect the first time you meet him.

“Vern shouts only when he has to and usually when we do something wrong. It doesn’t happen often. If some body shouts all the time it just becomes a noise.

“He is different to speak to from how he looks. You’d think he would be stern but he is actually laid back and explains everything very technically.

“The young guys who have come in have not been shy and look like they have been international rugby players for a long time, full of confidence but humility as well.

“They bring a lot of energy and are fun to play with.