Hamish Watson has branded the decision to red-card Scotland prop Zander Fagerson midway through the second half of Saturday’s Six Nations round two clash against Wales as “rubbish” and “not rugby”. 

Whilst insisting that the sending-off was not the decisive factor in his team’s narrow defeat, the Scotland flanker was clearly furious on behalf of his team-mate about referee Matthew Carley’s verdict on a ruck clear-out in which Fagerson’s shoulder made a glancing contact with opposite number Wyn Jones’ head. 

“That was a rubbish call. An absolutely dreadful call. That's not rugby, that call,” stated Watson. “Zander is absolutely fine. We've already got round him. He's a great player and a big part of everything we do with Scotland.  

“He can hold his head high, I think. We lost that game in the last 10 minutes of the first half and the first 10 of the second. We lost that game when we had 15 on the field. Zander has nothing to worry about. 

“I haven't heard the comms from the TV but I've heard from other people that the TMO said it wasn't a red, then the ref has overruled him,” Watson added. “The ref has the right to do that if he thinks that's the right call, but we as players strongly disagree with that call. 

“As soon as I saw it on the TV, I was thinking: 'That's not even a penalty'. It is what it is. The ref has overruled it and that's his decision, he has the power to do that. There's not much else we can say. We don't think it's a red, a yellow or even a penalty. But that's the way the game is going.” 

While Watson was quick to jump to the defence of Fagerson, he did agree that Scotland’s discipline over the course of the full 80 minutes was a problem. 

“It's obviously an immensely frustrating result,” he acknowledged. “We opened the game really well, which is sometimes something we struggle to do. We controlled the first 20-30 minutes and could have gone even more in front when we were down in their half., and another try would have been game over, but our ill-discipline cost us the game. It's not good enough and we're all gutted. 

“We know how good a team we are but the fans deserved a better performance, and we deserved a better performance from ourselves as well. Wales didn't win it. We had that game in our hands and we chucked it away. It's pretty tough to take.” 

Scotland now have a rest week before a daunting trip to Paris, where they haven’t won since 1999, to take on France on Sunday 28th February. Watson says he is in no doubt that his team can bounce back to not only win that match, but also the two subsequent home games against Ireland and Italy. 

“France away is going to be 10 times harder than the game on Saturday, but we know we're a good enough team to go to there and beat them,” he insisted. “We haven't done that for a while, so we want to get that monkey off our backs. 

“Saturday doesn't change how good a team we are. We lost from our own undoing. But we still believe we can go to France then win these next three games. 

“It will be tough, but we will regroup and get it right for France.”