GREGOR Townsend last night insisted that his players will recover from their Six Nations opening day defeat but admitted that he and his players deserve all the flak that will come their way following a 34-7 thrashing in Wales.

In his first championship match as head coach he had seen his side contribute to their own downfall and recognised that they had let themselves down.

“We should be criticised for today’s performance, be it from you guys [the media], the supporters who were down here or from ourselves,” he acknowledged. “We know that was well short of what is required playing for Scotland, but we have an opportunity to put things right this week.

“We come together few times in a season and now, just over two months after we played Australia, the shock is that we played so

badly given that we played so well in that game, but we have four games and the next one comes up quickly and we have to be much, much better.”

With Wales coach Warren Gatland driving home the point he has previously made about Scotland’s frailty on the road by saying he had been glad they were the opening day visitors and that he had predicted a 20-point win, Townsend was left confounded by what he saw.

“I think the first 15 minutes was a bizarre sort of Test match, it was so open. We made some breaks, we went wide, we turned over the ball, they made some breaks and turned over the ball and it wasn’t really what you’d describe as a Six Nations game,” he said.

However, he accepted that it looked as if the occasion had

got to the visitors in similar fashion to the way last year’s three home wins were interrupted by a capitulation against England at Twickenham

“It’s something you’ve got to ask because we didn’t play anything like we know we can play, and we have played, since that game at Twickenham,” he said.