Chris Cusiter insists Scotland's RBS 6 Nations victory over Ireland in their final match of the championship proves they are still a nation on the up.
Andy Robinson’s men began the championship with high hopes after a progressive autumn that included a memorable 9-8 victory over Australia at Murrayfield.
But things didn’t go to plan with defeats in their opening three Six Nations matches, including a 16-12 loss in Italy that left Cusiter and co. on course for the woodenspoon.
A battling display against England resulted in a 15-15 draw at Murrayfield before Dan Parks’ last-gasp penalty ended Ireland’s hopes of the Triple Crown as Scotland ran out 23-20 winners at Croke Park.
And with a tour to Argentina to come Scotland captain Cusiter is adamant his side could have been celebrating a clean sweep of the home nations had things gone their way.
“There is a lot of frustration. It was a campaign of such fine margins. A couple of points either way and we could have been Triple Crown winners rather than woodenspoon contenders,” said Cusiter.
“After everything that has gone on we went to Ireland with a lot of determination.
“It was a huge challenge going to Dublin. We were determined to prove we were capable of winning and it was a great feeling in the dressing-room afterwards.
“We put so much effort into the campaign and it would have been hard to take if we had come out without a win.
“I do not think people believe you when you say you think there is progress when you do not have the results to back it up.
“We had to prove we were capable of competing and beating some of the best sides around. There is a feeling in the squad we are going forward. There have been some tough times in the campaign but the experience gained has been vital.”