Six Nations 2014: Alex Dunbar wary of false dawn for Scotland after 21-10 win over Italy
Sunday 23 February 2014
Alex Dunbar insists Scotland will not be fooled into believing that they have turned the corner despite their dramatic win over Italy in Rome on Saturday.
The Glasgow centre scored two tries before Duncan Weir sealed a morale-boosting victory with his drop goal just 10 seconds before the final whistle blew.
The Scots' 21-20 win was much needed after the humiliation of a 20-0 hammering at home by England two weeks previously. But Dunbar is adamant that Scott Johnson's side still have imperfections to iron out of their performances.
"We have set the standard with that win in Rome. Now it is about finding that consistency in other areas," he said. "We have still got areas to work on. There were things against Italy that didn't work well. But we have a week off now and, hopefully, we can put them right before the France game."
The flaws in Scotland's make-up will never be better illustrated than by contrasting the first and second-half displays at the Stadio Olimpico. While there were hesitancy and suspect decision making in the first 40 minutes, the visitors returned after the break with ice flowing through their veins as Dunbar made the most of two chinks in the Italian defence before Weir kept calm to slot over his match-winning drop-kick.
"We were all disappointed at half-time," admitted Dunbar. "We had been doing things wrong in the first half and there were things we needed to improve on. We did that and showed what we can do. We have been under a lot of criticism lately. We have played well in bits but then let ourselves down in other areas. As a whole squad we have come in for a lot of flak from the press. But we always knew what we can achieve and we proved that in the second half."
Johnson believes Dunbar and his centre sidekick Matt Scott have the potential to be as potent a midfield pairing as there is in the northern hemisphere.
"No pressure there then," joked Dunbar as he spoke of his burgeoning partnership with Edinburgh's Scott. "The more you play together the more you can read each other. We are improving every time we play. All we can do is keep working hard and hope that we get selected."
Italy: Tries Allan, Furno; Conversions Allan, Orquera; Penalties Allan 2. Scotland: Tries Dunbar 2; Conversion Weir; Penalties Laidlaw 2; Drop goal Weir.
Italy McLean; Esposito, Campagnaro, Garcia, Sarto; Allan, Gori; De Marchi, Ghiraldini, Castrogiovanni, Geldenhuys, Furno, Zanni, Barbieri, Parisse. Replacements Giazzon, Aguero, Cittadini, Bortolami, Derbyshire, Botes, Orquera, Iannone.
Scotland Hogg; Seymour, Dunbar, Scott, Lamont; Weir, Laidlaw; Grant, Lawson, M Low, R Gray, Hamilton, Wilson, Fusaro, Beattie. Replacements Ford, Dickinson, Cross, Swinson, Denton, Cusiter, Taylor, Evans.
Referee S Walsh (Australia).
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