Paterson desperate to upset Ireland
February 25, 2011
Chris Paterson's last Six Nations appearance for Scotland came against Wales last year © Getty Images
Chris Paterson has admitted that Scotland's players are determined to make amends for their dismal defeat by Wales last time out by upsetting Ireland at Murrayfield on Sunday.
After turning in an encouraging display in losing to France in the opening round of this year's Championship, many felt that the Scots were the favourites going into their clash with the out-of-form Welsh in Edinburgh. However, Andy Robinson's men never recovered from a dismal start to the game and ultimately slumped to a desperately disappointing 24-6 defeat.
Consequently, Paterson and his colleagues are now intent on atoning for that loss, believing that they are more than capable of toppling the Irish if they recapture the recent good run of form which saw them register fine wins against Australia, Argentina and South Africa.
"We all know how disappointed everyone was after the Welsh game, the players are more disappointed than anyone," Paterson told Press Association Sport. "The feeling of deflation, the feeling of letting people down and that was seven days after an encouraging performance against France.
"We think about the last game - that has to be put right - but if you look over the 18 months there have been a lot of good results. If the performance is right, the result will be right."
Scotland have only beaten Ireland twice in their past 11 Championship meetings. Crucially, though, they emerged victorious from their most recent encounter, denying the Irish a Triple Crown by winning 23-20 in Dublin last year.
"It was such a long time since we beat Ireland there will probably be a renewed respect for the guys that played in that game," said Paterson, who will be earning his 102nd cap for Scotland this weekend.
"Ireland are a quality side. They're used to winning at Murrayfield - they haven't lost here (in the Six Nations) since 2001. The spine of the team that has gone through the decade without losing here is the spine of the team that will be here on Sunday.
"It's a huge challenge, but we concentrate on ourselves. If we get our game right we're in control of it. It's deal with what's in front of you and commit yourself utterly to the performance."
Scotland boss Andy Robinson has made several changes for the visit of Ireland. As well as the return of Paterson at fullback at the expense of the injured Hugo Southwell, Mike Blair and Ruaridh Jackson have been paired with one another in the half-backs, while Sean Lamont will line up alongside Nick De Luca midfield. Moray Low, Richie Gray and Johnnie Beattie have also earned recalls to the pack.
"We're not a bad side, there are a few changes which will make some difference," Paterson said. "In training it was more disorganised at the start of the week as the guys found their feet, but that's the purpose of training.
"There's a new-look midfield (Jackson, Lamont and Nick De Luca), but that's what training is for and we're excited for the game. We're expecting a big performance on Sunday and to put right our wrongs from the Wales game."
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