Thursday 25 May 2017

Paterson eyes Ireland clash as chance for Scotland to bounce back

David Kelly

David Kelly

Scotland's record-breaking full-back Chris Paterson is confident that his much-maligned side can use Ireland as a platform to bounce back from their dismal defeat to Wales.

Following the embarrassing 24-6 loss to Wales, Sean Lamont, one of seven changes to the starting XV for Sunday's match, called for a session of finger-pointing and honesty among the players.

Paterson, set to earn his 102nd cap on Sunday when he will seek to extend his country's record points total (752), hopes to resurrect his side's occasional ability to upset the odds.

"There were a few games that were really quite tight," said. "I played in 2001, the last time we won in Murrayfield -- the foot and mouth game -- and we played really well.

"Ireland had won all their games that year, so we stopped the Grand Slam.

"And the fact that Scotland won in Dublin last year will drive them on. Let's see if it changes their approach at all.

"You'd rather not have to bounce back, but that's what we have to do, that's what's required."

Grievances

That requirement included a players' meeting conducted by Lamont wherein the squad aired their grievances in the absence of Andy Robinson and his fellow coaches.

"Sean has spoken to us about his comments. I thought Sean spoke honestly, he then came to us and said 'look guys, I'd rather say that to your faces'," said the Scottish captain Alaistair Kellock.

"We had a meeting on Monday morning and there was a lot of talk.

"We were looking at ourselves first and foremost and then looking at what we wanted from each other. It was a good and worthwhile meeting.

"It's important we move on, it's important we focus on Ireland. What we've got to have is a performance that deserves a victory.

"We showed against Wales when we're off-par what a team can do to us. If we play well we have the ability to beat anybody, if we don't then we won't.

"We've got to make the most of these occasions because you don't want to have performances like the one we had. There's no point in not learning from it.

"I've spoken with people. I know that the performance let the public down, there's no doubt about it. We've got to play better. If we're getting 65,000 people in here we've got to make sure that they've got something to cheer about. We don't expect them to lift us; we lift them."

Irish Independent

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