Scotland women’s coach Shade Munro is clear that success cannot be based on a simple “win-loss” basis as he looks for steady improvement from his side.
The former Glasgow Warriors forwards coach will take charge of his first Six Nations match at Broadwood this evening and knows his side face a formidable test.
That said, while England have gained a lot of publicity for winning the last World Cup, the truth is that they haven’t come top of the Six Nations pile since 2012 and were fourth last year, when the Scots managed a try in Darlington and lost 42-13.
“I don’t quite know how good England are going to be or how good we’re going to be,” said Munro. “Last year a lot of tries came from what Scotland didn’t do well rather than what England did do well. So I’ve spent a lot of time trying to fix that. But it’s not going to be a quick fix.
“Actually last year they played well against England for 50 minutes but there has been a culture of, when the balance tips, the heads go down. They’re mentally tired, physically tired, confidence is low, they expect to lose and it just goes... suddenly it’s 50 points. We’re not on a level playing field in terms of numbers, but then that’s always been the case with the men, too. It’s not an excuse. In some respects it can be a strength, work with the ones you’ve got and see the results.”
Munro believes new skipper Lisa Martin has the makings of an excellent leader at stand-off and is excited by the prospect of seeing new caps such as centre Lisa Thomson and wing Rhona Lloyd at this level.
The former Scotland lock said he is enjoying the challenge of lifting the fortunes of the women’s team. “We’ve had a few training camps now and they have been useful for raising the standard and intensity of what they do. For any coach when you see improvement you feel good about yourself.
“They’re enjoying it, you see them working hard and that’s all I would ever ask. We’ve just got to keep it going.”