Murray drawing confidence from the ashes of England defeat for vital visit to Scotland

19 February 2013; Ireland's Conor Murray during a press conference ahead of their RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship match against Scotland on Sunday. Ireland Rugby Press Conference, Carton House, Maynooth, Co. Kildare. Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

Des Berry

"LOSING affects confidence," said Conor Murray.

"YOU want to win games, take confidence from wins and get on a run. You look back at a game. There were parts of the England game that were quite good. We are building on them this week."

The presumption must be that Murray was referring to a watertight defence, a solid scrum – Cian Healy will be absent – and a dangerous mauling game that caused England all sorts of problems.

"You want to be on a run of consistent wins and consistent performances. But, we are not on a downward spiral at all. We just lost a tight game against England," he said.

The question has been which out-half will be at the controls outside the confirmed first choice nine? There were three choices, the experience of Ronan O'Gara, the link man in Paddy Jackson or the runner in Ian Madigan. It didn't seem to matter to the Limerick man.

"All tens understand the game plan and what we are trying to do. It is ran quite similarly, no matter what ten is in there. It is a positive game plan," stated Murray.

"There are little differences that each individual player will bring. We have to completely understand each other out there."

There has to be understanding, but not always agreement. There has to be communication, but not always sensitivity in what is a manly game. "They (out-halfs) are all quite cranky. That is a good thing. You can be cranky back at them and we're able to sort out stuff on the pitch.

"You need to be harsh on each other out there when things aren't going quite right," said Murray.

"We make most of the decisions. We need to be clear on what we are doing.

"The more time you spend with a player, the more you understand each other and where you are going to be."

Ireland didn't get the weather or the result they were looking for against England.

It dampened their spirits for a while. It hasn't changed their mindset.

"We're seeing space. We're seeing chinks in defences. We are not afraid to go against our shape," he said.

The players still believe in the game plan. Scotland will test their commitment to it.