Scotland failed to deliver the performance the “navy blue jersey should demand” in a disappointing Six Nations loss to France, says head coach Gregor Townsend.
The Scots were well beaten 27-10 in Paris, extending their 20-year wait for a victory on French soil to 11 Tests.
They have only a solitary win from their three championship matches.
“What’s really disappointing is that we didn’t put on our best performance today,” Townsend told BBC Scotland.
“That navy blue jersey should demand of you a much better performance and we have to have that in the Six Nations because the teams are so good.
“We’ll focus on ourselves and look at areas where we obviously underperformed. But France played well today. They’re a dangerous side. The quality of the teams we play against mean that if we don’t bring our best game we are going to lose.”
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‘It’s not good enough to play in fits and starts’
Townsend bemoaned error-strewn Scotland’s failure to “get out of the blocks” as they started both halves slowly, losing tries in the 13th and 41st minutes.
They conceded four in total, with Ali Price’s late consolation, converted by Adam Hastings, and a Greig Laidlaw penalty their only scores.
Scotland were missing a host of key men, including back-rowers John Barclay and Hamish Watson and backline stars Stuart Hogg and Finn Russell, but Townsend refused to blame injuries for his side’s display.
“We spent a lot of that first 15 minutes in our own half and we didn’t bring the energy that the French team brought, which is really disappointing because we bring that every time we play,” he added.
“They’re excellent players and we just seemed to be a couple of steps behind France today early on. We pride ourselves on our energy and our fitness – we showed that in the last 10, 15 minutes. But we need to show that from the beginning.
“It’s not good enough at this level to play in fits and starts.”
‘Scotland are their own worst enemy’ – analysis
Former Scotland prop Peter Wright on BBC Radio Scotland.
Scotland are their own worst enemy. How many of the French tries came from Scottish mistakes? From a Scottish point of view it was a horrific game.
Of the starting XV, Jamie Ritchie and Grant Gilchrist were the two that you would say got plus points. The rest? Disappointing. Too many errors. Poor passes. Poor skill-sets.
We know the Stade de France is a cauldron. I’ve been there, I’ve played there. It’s a cauldron, but you’re an international rugby player and some of those performances, for me, weren’t of international calibre.