Wham, bang, what a weekend!

IR20150321. 21/03/15. TSPL SHIFT, RBS Six Nations Rugby International, Scotland v Ireland  BT Murrayfield.  Scotland Full-back Stuart Hogg is tackled by Ireland's Jamie Heaslip as he crosses the try line, the try was disallowed. Pic Ian Rutherford. '''�Ian Rutherford 'ianrutherfordphotography@gmail.com'www.ianrutherfordphotography.com'07710337520
IR20150321. 21/03/15. TSPL SHIFT, RBS Six Nations Rugby International, Scotland v Ireland BT Murrayfield. Scotland Full-back Stuart Hogg is tackled by Ireland's Jamie Heaslip as he crosses the try line, the try was disallowed. Pic Ian Rutherford. '''�Ian Rutherford 'ianrutherfordphotography@gmail.com'www.ianrutherfordphotography.com'07710337520
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So much optimism at the start of this campaign, and at the end of it a mixture of frustration and bitter disappointment for Scotland following the 40-10 defeat to Ireland at BT Murrayfield.

For sponsors RBS they will be leaping in the air, with such an extraordinary climax to the weekend – 221 points in three matches – and can you imagine the English players waking up on Saturday morning thinking that if they scored 55 points against the French, they would probably be winning the title?

Incredibly, it wasn’t enough, as they needed 62. Seeing Wales score 47 points in the last 40 minutes against Italy was remarkable, and Ireland putting 40 points on Scotland was nearly not enough for them.

It was all bizarre, but the neutrals would have loved it, and local coach Jammy McFarlane commented that this “advert for rugby” would help sell the game to youngsters.

It was fantastic to witness the drama of it all.

For Italy and Scotland, there was nothing to celebrate. Several have suggested that maybe the time is right to let England, Wales, Ireland and France get on with it in a Division One format, and for Scotland and Italy, who are grossly underfunded and with far less players compared with these other nations, joined in a second tier with the likes of Romania and Georgia, with relegation and promotion each season.

Of course, this suggestion would be met with horror if it came to the table. Scotland needs the revenue from these big games, and the marketing department would find it impossible to sell out the national stadium for the likes of Georgia and Romania.

Relax though, it’s not going to happen anytime soon. The 6 Nations is likely to be the 6 Nations for a long time to come, and we have to knuckle down and keep punching above our weight each season.

How can this be fixed? Can Scotland ever repeat the success of the last century? We haven’t won anything tangible in the 2000s and from where I’m standing the thought of a World Cup win, or even winning a quarter-final, is difficult to contemplate.

We are not consistent enough to compete with the big countries.

We will always get the odd win against a big nation, usually in a friendly, but when it matters we rarely hit the heights.

We have to be at the very top of our game in each game, with all 23 players at their peak, and that is not happening.

We’re brilliant in flashes, but not for 80 minutes. We’re getting the basics wrong and making errors.

Vern Cotter is an excellent coach, but you can only work with what you have got, and while we have talented youngsters coming through, you have to ask the question, how many are good enough to make a British Lions test squad?

Stuart Hogg and Jonny Gray perhaps, but beyond that? There’s the problem.