Scottish Rugby has been up and down in recent years, but that win over England is sure to give Gregor Townsend’s men a major boost as they prepare to face Ireland in Dublin.
In the last round of fixtures, Scotland came out winners over Eddie Jones’ impressive England side for the first time since 2008 and saw them lift the Calcutta Cup. By doing this they proved to people that they can perform in high-pressure games after that embarrassing first-round 34-7 defeat in Cardiff.
The Scots need to fix their disastrous away record if they want to push on from this point, with just six away wins since the Six Nations was formed.
In his BBC Column, Scottish captain John Barclay said he feels that they need to improve this record as many new faces have come into the squad since their last away win, which was in Dublin in 2010
“I’m not a great one for looking back, but I know that eight years have passed since we won a Six Nations game on the road anywhere other than Rome. It was in Dublin in 2010. Careers have come and gone in those years.”
There is no doubt that Scotland are one of the best teams in this year’s Six Nations, but since that win over England at Murrayfield, they have a lot to prove, and assistant coach Dan McFarland believes that what Scotland needs is consistency.
“If you want to demonstrate to people the quality of your team, you have to do it consistently”
Going into the game next weekend, Scotland won’t have the element of surprise that they did against England. The pressure is mounting as they look to prove that the win over England wasn’t a once off, and a win in Dublin would be quite the statement.
“They demonstrated over the last number of years how strong they are at home, their record is phenomenal and they provide a brilliant challenge for us.”
Former Irish international Hugo McNeill told RTE that if Joe Schmidt’s side bring the same intensity and flair that they showed against Wales in the previous round, they have a good chance of keeping their 100% record intact.
“Looking at [the Scotland vs England] game, Ireland will know that they will have to match the intensity that they brought to the [Wales] game to win against Scotland.”
With Scotland six points behind Ireland in the table, the Scots will go to Dublin believing that they are still in contention to win the competition.
“”I can’t remember the last time Scotland were in contention in round four. Imagine the excitement.”
Needless to say, that if Scotland deliver the same performance levels that they did in Murrayfield, they might just be the needle that punctures Joe Schmidt’s Grand Slam balloon.
Luke Holmes. Pundit Arena.