BLAIR COWAN insists Scotland can carry their November form into January and cause an RBS 6 Nations upset with a Championship win.
Confidence is surging through the Dark Blues squad after racking up a pair of five-try wins over Argentina and Tonga either side of their proud display against the All Blacks.
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It was an impressive turnaround following their nightmare display in this year’s Six Nations.
The Scots were humiliated at Murrayfield when England refused to let them onto the scoresheet during a 20-0 drubbing and then finished off their campaign with a record 51-3 defeat to Wales in Cardiff.
But adopted Scot Cowan believes Vern Cotter’s side have now shown they should not be written off ahead of this year’s battle with their Northern Hemisphere neighbours.
The New Zealand-born flanker - who qualifies for Scotland through his Argyll-born mother Joan - said: “For me it is about us growing as a team and to keep progressing one step at a time. If we start looking ahead of ourselves, that’s when we can slip up.
“But can we win the Six Nations? One hundred per cent. If you don’t believe you can win it, then what is the point of turning up?
“So I definitely believe that we can do it and we have shown sings in these last three games that we are capable of doing that.”
The London Irish back-rower gave another display of his growing importance to this Scotland side with a try and man-of-the-match display as Tonga were defeated 37-12 at Rugby Park.
His opening score was followed by touchdowns from Stuart Hogg, Alex Dunbar, Geoff Cross and Tommy Seymour - as well as 12 points from skipper Greig Laidlaw’s boot.
Brought up in Upper Hut outside of the Kiwi capital Wellington, Cowan always knew he would have to play especially well to persuade the Scottish rugby public of his ability to wear the thistle.
But now he believes he has started to win over any doubters.
“To be out there performing and winning man of the match awards is something I will always remember,” said the 28-year-old.
“I said when I first came into the squad that I wanted people to appreciate what I did in a Scotland jersey and I hope that is happening now.
“I wanted to turn up and prove myself worthy of a jersey. I think I am progressing slowly with each match and I still think I have a lot to offer.
“I hope people are starting to accept that I’m good enough to where that Dark Blue shirt.”
Cotter has given each of his players some homework to be completed ahead of their return to Edinburgh in late January when preparations will begin for their Six Nations opener in France on February 7.
The head coach wants them to brush up on their skill sets and Cowan insists he is happy to work on his game.
“There have been a few slight errors I can look to improve on,” he said. “I don’t think any player has had the complete game where they are 100 per cent happy.
“I’m still searching for that. Hopefully I can find it one day in a Scotland jersey.”
The Scots scored 11 tries across the November Tests - their highest autumn total since 2007 - and conceded just six.
Intensity in attack has been matched in defence and Cowan puts that all down to the work Cotter has done since taking over in the summer.
He said: “Vern has had a huge influence on the way we have played. Prior to these three matches we spoke about the key words that we want to represent.
“Those were ‘Warrior spirit’, ‘ferocity’ and ‘unity’. We are out there and each individual is doing his job but then doing more and that is the difference.”
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