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'I'm putting my meagre pension on Ireland' – Scottish view on Six Nations clash

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Rob Kearney celebrates after scoring a try against Scotland in last year's Six Nations encounter.

Rob Kearney celebrates after scoring a try against Scotland in last year's Six Nations encounter.

SPORTSFILE

Rob Kearney celebrates after scoring a try against Scotland in last year's Six Nations encounter.

Ireland and Scotland both go into the final weekend of the Six Nations needing a victory for very different reasons, but one Scottish media outlet just can't see a home victory in Murrayfield.

Joe Schmidt's side will hope to put defeat in Cardiff behind them as they seek two points, plus a favourable points difference, to retain the championship. The Scots on the other hand desperately need a silver lining to the season that has seen four defeats and starin down the barrel of a wooden spoon.

Writing in The Herald Scotland, Hugh MacDonald says that positive soundbites from their Twickenham defeat last time out must be put into perspective that the current crop of players are well short of the standard required to battle towards the top of the table.

"The problem for Vern Cotter and his side is that they are not as good as four of the teams in the RBS 6 Nations," he writes.

The scramble defence was presented as a strength in the 25-13 loss to Stuart Lancaster's side, but MacDonald is reluctant to lavish praise as it was borne out of necessity.

"The motif of the season for Scotland is to look at the glimmers of hope while shielding one's eyes from the most blinding faults," he says. "For example, there was much praise for Scotland's scramble defence against England but it does not take a cynic to point out that this can only be conspicuous if the frontline defence has been breached."

"The statistics insist England recorded 11 line breaks but this is a mere detail lost in the reality that England seemed to punch through Scotland at will. Scotland missed 26 tackles."

Head coach Cotter insists that Scotland are "a piece of luck" away from getting a positive breakthrough, with MacDonald suggesting that supporters are yet to be as fully convinced.

"The Scottish rugby public wants to be convinced but the table tells a frank story and the solid evidence of the superiority of at least four of the teams in the 6 Nations is surely irrefutable."

Despite finding Murrayfield a difficult place to get a result down through he years – the reigning champions have lost on their last two visits – MacDonald says that he believes Ireland will emerge victorious when the dust settles on Saturday afternoon.

"The case for Ireland, of course, has still to be made at Murrayfield but the way they confounded and outplayed England in Dublin does not have this observer scrambling to remove his meagre pension for a wager on a Scotland victory."

Online Editors