Prop Gordon Reid has admitted that Scotland’s players were guilty of believing their own hype ahead of the Six Nations.
The loosehead confessed that the big build-up, with the Scots tipped as possible title contenders, went to some heads before that dreadful 34-7 defeat in Cardiff on the opening day.
“We believed we were great, the best team in the world, which was not the case,” said the London Irish man, who considers Saturday’s opponents England as the top team on the planet at the moment.
Gregor Townsend’s men will be looking to build on the revitalising home 32-26 victory over France as they welcome the world ranked No 2 side to BT Murrayfield and aim to register a first win over the Auld Enemy in a decade.
“It’s a massive game, especially for Scotland, and we’re playing a side that, with Eddie Jones as coach and all the players they’ve got to call on, I think is the best team in the world just now,” said the former Glasgow forward.
“We just need to step up to these games and not play the occasion. I just feel that we need to just forget about how big a game it is and just go in there with clear heads.”
For all the concerns about front-row injuries in the build up to the championship, the Scottish scrum has held up well in the opening two rounds, but Reid is well aware that this weekend will be the toughest test yet against England’s giant pack.
“Aye, for it being a crisis it’s been good,” he said. “That’s just what some people say but being a player, you try not to let that stuff play on your mind too much.
“You just try to go into every game feeling good.
“This is a huge game for us. From my point of view I’m up against the likes of Dan Cole and Mako Vunipola, who are good scrummagers, British and Irish Lions. It’s a good pack.
“I 100 per cent think they will try and attack us in the front row, so it’s going to be a huge battle. But I’m always excited for these big games.”
Reid left Glasgow at the end of last season and has managed to get a decent run in the London Irish side after some early injury setbacks at his new club.
“I’ve played against most of the England boys who are in the Premiership,” he said. “It doesn’t give you an advantage, although you obviously get to know them and get to know what their traits are.
“You know what they do: for example, I’ve played against Dan Cole in the scrum and you just know what they do and learn how you can counteract it.”
Asked how he planned to do just that against the British and Irish Lion who has been hailed as the finest tighthead in the world, Reid replied: “If I tell you then he’ll know. I’ll give him a phone and tell him what I’m going to do against him!
“He’s got different traits and I just need to work on that so I’m the best I can be and hopefully come out on top.”
Reid also laughed off the news that Scottish football manager David Moyes, currently the West Ham boss, had spent some time with the England team yesterday after being invited by coach Jones.
“No disrespect, I don’t really read the papers,” said Reid, with a smile. “It’s just what he [Jones] does and that’s it. He’s a really good coach.
“You can see that with all the moves they’ve done and how well they’re doing in their games. He’s a good coach and he can bring
whoever he wants in.”