The opening weekend of the 2004 RBS 6 Nations was a very depressing one from a Scottish point of view, and in the cold light of day it has to be said that Saturday's 23-10 defeat to Wales flattered Scotland.
The scoreline was not a true reflection of the amount of pressure and possession the Welsh had, and Steve Hansen's side should really have made more of their dominance.
Scotland coach Matt Williams will be hugely disappointed with the result because his players simply did not perform. His tight five were completely outplayed, the line-out did not go well, and on the whole we were taken apart.
You rely so much on your forwards putting in the hard graft, and that never really happened.
Williams opted to field Chris Cusiter at scrum-half, and I think he is one player who did well. I'm a big Mike Blair fan, largely because I've seen a lot more of Mike domestically, but Cusiter tried his best behind a pack who were not making his job any easier.
Jason White also played well after coming off the bench, and he is a must for the England game. White made an immediate impact in Cardiff and he appears to have the type of big-match temperament which will be needed against the English.
Of course, the Scots now have an immediate opportunity to redeem themselves, and if ever there was a game to lift Scotland, it's against the Auld Enemy.
It's always important to strike the right balance between a healthy rivalry and xenophobia, but the players will be up for this one.
England deserve respect as World Champions but if we sit back and let them play, we are in for a thrashing. The crucial thing is that Scotland come off the pitch with their heads held high, and their pride intact.
Essentially, we cannot afford to perform like we did at the Millennium Stadium. We still have the perennial problem of lacking a clinical finisher. Our try in Cardiff came from an uninspiring drive-over by the forwards - I've lost count of the number of times we've done that recently.
I think the Murrayfield crowd will try to be patient with Scotland because this is a transitional period and we are facing the World Champions. But people will be very dissatisfied with another poor showing because what we really need is a passionate performance.
Victory for Scotland would be truly monumental - and my heart hopes we can run them close. But in all honesty, the head says England by 20 points.
Peter O'Mahony was named man of the match against England last month
21 April 2017, 7:22pm
Peter O'Mahony's performance in the RBS 6 Nations finale for Ireland against England was crucial to his selection for the British & Irish Lions on Wednesday, Ireland and Lions defence coach Andy Farrell has revealed.