The dust has settled somewhat since Scotland’s Six Nations defeat in Cardiff, and many words have been penned following that match against Wales, writes Stuart Cameron.
The mood in general is that we’re not a bad team at all and we have world class players – but everyone, and this includes the players no doubt, are just sick to the back teeth of losing matches.
You can almost feel the frustration as we continue to make silly errors, blow opportunities, get on the wrong side of refereeing decisions and end up losing by a few points. We could easily be at the top of the table right now if winning by fine margins rather than losing by them, and everyone would be very happy indeed.
It’s all about the win now. In the past we have praised progress and getting close in key matches, but simply because we know how good this squad actually is, losing honourably is no longer acceptable.
I stated last week that I think we can win our last three matches, and I still believe that. Surely we can go to Rome on Saturday and get a result. France have scraped two wins against Italy and Ireland at home but we have nothing to fear from them on our home patch and Ireland are nowhere near as good as the squad that won back-to-back championships over the past two years.
If we get everything right along with the rub of the green from the man in the middle, then we can end the campaign on six points and that would give everyone a long overdue slice of satisfaction.
We always punch above our weight and we can compete on the World stage. While there’s grave concerns that we cannot afford to keep some of our top players in Scotland, they benefit from playing regularly at a high level outside of this country, and that has helped close the gap on other nations.
Italy is a crucial game for everyone. Only one result will do to give players and management a respite from the frustration. I cannot imagine the fall-out if we lose. Even a one point win will be welcome.