Scotland defence coach Alan Tait wants to see Ireland made to work for every point when the two sides clash in the RBS 6 Nations at Croke Park in Dublin on Saturday evening.
In Scotland’s first two matches of this season’s RBS 6 Nations campaign, both France and Wales were allowed to help themselves to three tries each, and the ease with which those teams were able to build commanding leads has clearly become a major cause for concern within the camp.
“I felt in the last two internationals that we’ve gone behind to two soft tries which has meant we have had to chase the game, and I don’t think we are a great chasing team,” said Tait.
“I would rather see us sitting out in front and finding out what Ireland are going to do about trying to catch us for a change.
“In the World Cup our defence was outstanding but that was because we were together every day for eight weeks.
“The Six Nations does challenge you because you don’t have as much of an opportunity to work with the guys - but our job as coaches is to try and put things together and sort things out quickly. We’ll see if we have managed to do that during the last fortnight.”
Whilst the surrendering of six tries in two matches is a worrying statistic for the Scottish coaching staff, a far bigger concern is surely the fact the team has managed only one try in its last five outings.
In an effort to combat this obvious lack of bite in attack, head coach Frank Hadden has selected livewire Simon Webster at outside centre and the elegant Chris Paterson at stand-off, both of whom will be looking to put the powerful wingers Rory Lamont and Nikki Walker into space.
Tait is clearly hoping that Scotland’s revamped team can start totting up the points at the right end of the park, which should make things easier when it comes to closing Ireland out of the game.
“I just hope that we can get ourselves on the scoreboard early on and take a bit of pressure off ourselves,” he said.
“With exciting backs like Simon Webster and Rory Lamont in the side we have to be looking to put some points on the board, and get the other teams working hard to get back into the game.
“If we can do that then all of a sudden the game takes on a very different complexion. And maybe we’ll be able to relax a bit, and start to show what we can do.
“I don’t think anyone in the squad feels we have done ourselves justice yet.”