Scots seek final flourish
March 13, 2007
Scotland hooker Dougie Hall has emphasised the determination within the squad to end a disappointing RBS 6 Nations Championship on a high.
Frank Hadden's side lost their third match of the campaign when they were edged out 19-18 by Ireland at Murrayfield - their seventh consecutive defeat to Ireland.
The performance was a marked improvement from the surprise home defeat to Italy and Hall hopes Scotland can do better still against France in Paris.
The Edinburgh forward said: ``We didn't perform as well as we wanted against Ireland. The line-out was part of that.
``Against teams like Ireland you have to play at your best in all areas of the game. There are some positives but it's very hard to see them straight after the game.
``We were very focused on putting right some of the wrongs. Having said that the Italy game was so hard to analyse because it was such a strange game.
``We had to try to play our own game against Ireland but unfortunately we didn't get a lot of the ball. They're very good at slowing what ball we did get and we were forced into a pick-and-go tactic which really didn't suit us.
``But that's credit to them and they're rightly considered one of the top three teams in the world.
``They maybe didn't perform as they wanted to but hopefully that was down to us putting them off their stride.
``That kind of performance isn't going to be good enough to win in Paris but it's going to be very easy to mentally get up for that game.
``We're absolutely dying to put in the sort of performance we owe ourselves and we owe the fans.
``I was watching the game from stands at the end and I was thinking we merited winning the game for sheer determination but when we get to France they are going to pose different problems and we are going to have to step up.
``It certainly doesn't scare us and we have to come out of this Six Nations with a positive and this is our last chance to do it.''
Hall emphasised Scotland's eagerness to stop the rot when he admitted the pack were living on the edge in a bid to stop Ireland's progress.
The 26-year-old said: ``Both teams were determined to impose our defences on the game. They are very good at slowing the ball down legally and on the border of illegally.
``That can be very frustrating for us but at the same time we were trying to do the same back to them.
``So there was a lot of stop-starting and they had to kick in behind sometimes and so did we. We both probably thought we didn't impose our gameplan enough on the opposition.
``But that sometimes happens in international rugby, because defences are so well coached that you often know pretty much what the opposition will try to do.''
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