CONNOR Braid believes that Peter Horne can emerge a better player from the “dark place” that was the Scotland dressing room following the disastrous 22-19 defeat at the hands of Italy on Saturday.
The Glasgow stand-off’s failure to find touch against Italy in the closing minutes of Saturday’s BT Murrayfield RBS Six Nations clash subsequently led to the penalty try which ensured an agonising defeat at the hands of the Azzurri and has now firmly set Vern Cotter’s men on course for the wooden spoon.
But Braid, the man who benefited from Horne’s elevation to the Scotland ranks by filling the Glasgow No 10 shirt for the first time at Munster, has made a passionate defence of his Warriors’ team-mate, whom he believes can be proud of his overall performance in what was the former Howe of Fife player’s first start at BT Murrayfield.
He said: “Peter maybe had 80 involvements in Saturday’s game with Italy and for him to have the blame pinned on him for the defeat on one of these is way off the mark.
“There is a lot of pressure on you at 10 to make decisions and execute them but if you look at the way Peter played throughout that game then he can be proud of himself and so can his family.
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“Considering how scrappy the Italians are and how tough it is to run ball, I thought Peter carried really well, his defence was great and so was his decision making and passing. Overall, considering it was his first game for Scotland at BT Murrayfield, he had a really solid game.
“On top of that there is no doubt that he will have learned from the experience of starting at 10 in such a big game and he will benefit from that, so will Glasgow and so will Scotland.
“Yeah, it was a heartbreaker, but you just can’t pin it all on Peter.”
Horne, 25, was one of nine players released back to Glasgow from the national squad and Braid says that his team-mate has recovered from his Scotland nadir.
The Canada international said: “Obviously all of the Scotland boys were a bit gutted and they’ve said it was a dark place in the (Scotland) dressing- room after the (Italy) defeat.
“But that is competitive sport and you are not going to win every game. So they have come round and Peter is no different to the rest of them in that respect.
“I think it is really good for him to be back at Glasgow and be looking forward to the next game here, even if that might mean it costs me my place.”
Braid is on a short-term deal at Scotstoun until the end of the season and is desperate to use his first start at 10 against Munster to pitch for a new contract next season.
“It was nice to be given the responsibility of playing 10 in a match featuring the two teams at the top of the Pro12. It is pretty rare for a Canadian to get that type of exposure but obviously we lost and your gameplan players take a hit for that.
“Clearly I’d love to stay involved in the 10 or 12 area but with Peter back, plus all the other Scotland internationals that have returned, it will be a big ask for me to stay in the starting XV.
“But I am here until the end of the season and I’d love to stay at Glasgow. That said, sometimes you don’t always get what you want. But I’m hoping to have some chat in that regard soon.”
Looking forward to Friday’s visit of Guinness Pro12 bottom side Zebre to Scotstoun, Braid says he can’t see a repeat of Glasgow’s eight-try hammering of the men from Parma three weeks back.
“We played them three weeks ago and Zebre weren’t really up for it, they had some internal issues going on and they just weren’t there mentally,” said Braid. “These issues have been sorted out now and they will be an entirely different proposition on Friday to the side we beat heavily in Parma.”