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Last Updated: Monday, 29 March, 2004, 12:25 GMT 13:25 UK
Must do better

By Gordon Bulloch
Scotland vice-captain

It's difficult to pick out any positives from a Six Nations campaign during which we failed to win a single game.

Having said that, there's no question that our last performance against Ireland was our best one and it's important we take encouragement from that and try to build on it.

In many ways, we have to write the campaign off and look to the future, rather than dwelling on poor performances that are now in the past.

I think what we'll do now is take a couple of weeks to try to put the results behind us before getting together again to decide how we move forward from here.

It's important to remain as upbeat as possible, difficult as that may be in the circumstances, because the worst thing that could happen would be to let the heads drop.

Obviously we've got a number of young, inexperienced guys in the squad and it's up to me and the other more senior players to ensure that we use the disappointment as motivation to improve.

Dejection has become a familiar feeling for Scotland
Dejection has become a familiar feeling for Scotland
One of the few positives to emerge from the championship is that these young guys now have a Six Nations campaign under their belt, and that's hugely important.

Next time around, they'll be far more prepared for the challenge that that level of rugby provides.

To be fair, we were forced to blood a lot of inexperienced guys because we lost so many senior players after the World Cup and that doesn't help.

What is in no doubt is that everyone in the squad is right behind Matt Williams and the systems he's trying to implement.

He hasn't had a lot of time to get these systems in place, and some things have worked well in certain games and not so well in others.

But at least against Ireland, for instance, we showed we can attack. The only problem is that because we hadn't really been in those positions in the previous games, we weren't able to fully take advantage of the opportunities we had.

Ireland were and that showed in the scoreline, which I don't think accurately reflected the balance of play.

I felt we got our preparation and attitude right against Ireland, but we have to have that as standard, not as an exception.

We've got a very tough tour to look forward to in a few months and it will be very interesting to see if we can use the experience, anger and frustration of the last few weeks in a positive manner and prove a few people wrong.

We've seen Wales go through a similar rut and emerge as a very decent team so we have something to aspire to and the next Six Nations campaign will be a far better gauge of our progress under Matt Williams.



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