Circumstances can also make a big difference. Two years ago we missed out on the Grand Slam after losing to them in a game which was delayed until September because of the foot and mouth crisis. Having said that, over the last few years we've got a number of jinxes off our backs and this is another one which needs to be put to bed.
I don't think the fact that Scotland have done so well against us at home will affect our confidence at all, which obviously doesn't mean we'll be taking it lightly. The Scots always seem to target the Irish but we've no need to be nervous and I do think we can beat Scotland.
Whether we achieve that will depend on Ireland playing at the top of their game.
I'll be watching the game from the touchline because of my shoulder injury and it's something which I'll find very difficult. All Players find it frustrating to be on the sidelines and I must say I really struggle.
Another player who will be missing is Ronan O'Gara and that is definitely unfortunate for Ireland because he has made himself the number-one choice at fly-half. But we're lucky that he has been pushed all the way by David Humphreys, who is an outstanding player in his own right, and I don't think the line up will be at all affected because both Ronan and David have very similar playing styles.
I've sensed that the Irish are pretty confident but they also know how hard it will be. Scotland beat South Africa in the autumn internationals and it's given them a real jolt, which I think they needed. They are much improved and have every right to be confident as well.