Nathan Hines wants to stop Italy from looking at Scotland as RBS 6 Nations soft touches by condemning the Azzurri to the wooden spoon on Saturday.
The Australian-born lock insists it is time for the Scots to teach their continental cousins a few lessons in winning rugby - and in the process make amends for last year’s 37-17 home defeat.
“We know each year they look at us as the game they feel they can win, and then see what else they can pick up,” he said.
“But we have to start changing their mind and start beating them home and away, and that’s got to start this weekend.
“We know it’s going to be tough, but what happened here last year - when we threw away 21 points in the first six minutes - won’t happen again.
“Our guys are a bit more experienced now and as long as we match them up front, as we did against England last weekend, we’re in with a chance.
“They have an inexperienced nine and 10 and that’s probably the weakest part of their game at the moment, but their forwards are playing in the big competitions, as are some of the backs, so they are not going to be an easy side to beat,” he continued.
“Against Wales they got a lot of points put past them, but they gave England and France a run for their money.
“I don’t know if they still feel that once they’re a couple of scores down they can’t catch up, but I expect them to really kick on with their new coach.
“They are becoming a much better team and we might feel that this week, now they’ve got four games under their belts and had time to get accustomed to how Nick Mallet wants them to play.
“But if they play well, we’ll just have to play better.”
The last time these two sides met was on a rain-lashed evening in Saint Etienne during last year’s Rugby World Cup.
On that occasion Frank Hadden’s team secured a quarter-final spot with a hard-fought 18-16 victory.
While Scotland supporters will inevitably draw encouragement from that result, Hines insists the team’s focus is purely on the next match.
“We’re not interested now in what happened in the World Cup or at Murrayfield last year,” he said. “That’s all gone and all we’re interested in now is winning this game in Rome.”
Scotland’s victory over England went a long way towards raising the spirits of the nation after the disappointment of heavy defeats by France, Wales and Ireland during the first three rounds of matches in this year’s RBS 6 Nations.