Six Nations: Italy v Scotland - Beating Italy won’t cure our problems, says Scott Johnson
Saturday 22 February 2014
Scott Johnson, the Scotland head coach, has acknowledged that not even a victory over Italy today will cure their surfeit of problems.
The Scots have suffered two painful defeats, to Ireland and England, as their miserable Six Nations campaign got off to a terrible start. The 20-0 humiliation at the hands of the Auld Enemy in Edinburgh a fortnight ago has been described as the nation’s worst ever display, with Scotland spending just 3 per cent of the game in the English 22 as they failed to register a point against England for the first time since 1978.
Their meeting with the Azzurri at the Stadio Olimpico could now settle who takes home the wooden spoon, but Johnson concedes not even a morale-boosting triumph in Rome will guarantee that his side have turned the corner.
“There is no doubt, we would take a win,” he admitted. “It would be good for the guys but it won’t be the end of all our ills either. I keep talking about it, we want consistency in this team.
“We could win ugly and everyone would feel good about themselves. But that is only a temporary measure. That’s one of my issues with Scottish rugby. We seem to settle for these little peaks and then the troughs. Yes, a win would be great for morale, but let’s not delude ourselves, we have to do it more often.”
The Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg agreed with his coach that redemption is a long way off, but the British & Irish Lion hopes the journey starts in Rome. “I think it will put us in a good place if we win here,” he said. “It could kick-start our Six Nations campaign. It will take a few wins to get that monkey off our back but, hopefully, this is where it starts.”
Johnson has been on the receiving end of some personal jibes in the wake of the England defeat. However, the proud Australian insisted his players are big enough to shrug off the criticism. “These guys are professional people. They take the plaudits when they come, so they can take the flak now,” he said. “At the end of the day, they just need to get on with it. ”
Joey Barton joins Burnley: Ex-QPR midfielder signs one-year deal, immediately regrets tweet criticising living the Lancashire town last year
Kevin De Bruyne to Manchester City: £58m deal hits the rocks as Wolfsburg admits they're 'in no rush' to sell former Chelsea midfielder
Manchester City face another struggle to make an impact in Champions League
Paul Pogba to Chelsea: Transfer news live - John Stones latest, Gareth Bale and Neymar to Manchester United, Edinson Cavani to Arsenal
Kevin De Bruyne to Manchester City: Wolfsburg admit they can't compete with 'astonishing' £200,000-a-week offer as £58m deal nears
- 1 Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe Ned Stark's son may have a twin sister
- 2 Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
- 4 iPhone 6s camera: features to include 4K video camera and flash for selfies
- 5 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn