SCOTLAND are clutching at positives in their bid to avoid the RBS 6 Nations wooden spoon, with centre Mark Bennett calling on his side to unsettle Ireland in next week’s final round.
Defeat at Twickenham to title-chasing England on Saturday leaves Scotland without a win from four games and with victory over Ireland, who are bidding to retain the championship, required to avoid a Six Nations whitewash for the second time in four years.
Ireland have lost on their last two trips to Murrayfield - in the August 2011 Rugby World Cup warm-up and the 2013 Six Nations - while Scotland avoided the wooden spoon in 2010 by winning in Dublin.
Bennett, who scored a first-half try at Twickenham, said: “We really need to go into the week knowing that we can win.
“The whole week is about preparing to win. We’ve got to go out next Saturday and get the win.
“Getting the win next week is huge. It would put us in a better position in the tournament and a better position to build on come World Cup time.
“Our performances have been a lot better than results have shown.
“With the way that we’ve played in three out of the four games - the Italy game being a bit of a blip - I wouldn’t have expected us to be bottom.
“We’re playing the way we want to, we’re starting to create opportunities.
“It’s not going to be a negative, going into the game thinking ‘oh no we can’t come away with the wooden spoon’. It’s more ‘we’re coming into the game to get the win’.
“(Ireland) have been playing a really hard, tight game of rugby, very disciplined, putting in great kicks, contesting in the air, squeezing things.
“We’ve got to just try to break the mould and run them ragged.”
Scotland’s wait for a first Twickenham win since 1983 goes on.
Vern Cotter’s side took a half-time lead in the Calcutta Cup clash, but failed to score in the second half as England won 25-13.
Bennett acknowledged Scotland’s front-line defence was not at its best against England, but feels improvement in the scrambled, less structured defence and a reduced penalty count are signs of progress.
The Glasgow Warriors centre insisted Scotland must not dwell on what has already happened as they bid to end the tournament on a high.
“It’s disappointing, but you’ve got to look at why it’s disappointing,” he said.
“It’s our own downfall. We’ve made too many errors and penalties in the past.
“(But) it’s a case of this is the problem, this is how we fix it, lets move on.”
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