Scotland must overturn the odds and their own heartache as they prepare for their first RBS 6 Nations game at Murrayfield this year.
Ireland arrive in Edinburgh this week hoping to inflict more disappointment on Matt Williams' team after the last-gasp defeat by France in Paris last weekend.
Scotland, who were looking for improvement after a disappointing autumn Test series, were on the verge of a famous victory to open their RBS 6 Nations campaign but a late try by Damien Traille saw France claim the win.
The result left Williams distraught and his wrath turned towards official Nigel Williams after the game.
However, the former Leinster coach must now lift his team for the visit of the Irish.
Ireland coach Eddie O'Sullivan saw his team overcome a potentially awkward obstacle against Italy last weekend with a 28-17 win.
But two of the architects of the triumph in Rome, skipper Brian O'Driscoll and centre partner Gordon D'Arcy, are out of the Murrayfield clash with hamstring injuries.
After working with the pair during his time with Leinster, nobody will welcome the exclusion of both players more than Scotland coach Williams.
But, with morale boosted at least by the confidence engendered by the display in Paris - and the subsequent sell-out crowd at Murrayfield - Scotland can relish the prospect of international test matches.
C Paterson (Edinburgh); S Danielli (The Borders), A Craig (Glasgow), H Southwell (Edinburgh), S Lamont (Glasgow); D Parks (Glasgow), C Cusiter (The Borders); T Smith (Northampton), G Bulloch (Glasgow, capt), G Kerr (Leeds), S Grimes (Newcastle), S Murray (Edinburgh), J White (Sale), A Hogg (Edinburgh), J Petrie (Glasgow).
Replacements: R Russell (London Irish), B Douglas (The Borders), N Hines (Edinburgh), J Dunbar (Leeds), M Blair (Edinburgh), G Ross (Leeds), B Hinshelwood (Worcester).
G Murphy (Leicester); G Dempsey (Leinster), S Horgan (Leinster), K Maggs (Ulster), D Hickie (Leinster); R O'Gara (Munster), P Stringer (Munster); R Corrigan (Leinster), S Byrne (Leinster), J Hayes (Munster), M O'Kelly (Leinster), P O'Connell (Munster, capt), S Easterby (Llanelli), J O'Connor (Wasps), A Foley (Munster).
Replacements: F Sheahan (Munster), M Horan (Munster), D O'Callaghan (Munster), E Miller (Leinster), G Easterby (Leinster), D Humphreys (Ulster), G Duffy (Harlequins).
After Ireland's heroic big-game hunt of the Springboks and Scotland's six-try runaround of the Pumas, the challenge of engineering the most spectacular win of the autumn series now falls on Wales, writes Peter Jackson.