Paterson plays down key role

Chris Paterson has played down the importance of his kicking to Scotland's Six Nations Championship this season. [more]

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Chris Paterson has played down the importance of his kicking to Scotland’s Six Nations Championship this season.

The full-back’s goalkicking has been a key part of the Scots’ recent rejuvenation under coach Frank Hadden, exemplified perfectly in the 18-12 Calcutta Cup victory over England.

Paterson said: "It’s just kicking, isn’t it? I suppose it always will be a talking point and I’m reasonably happy with it.

"But there’s another big game coming up and you’re only one kick away from everybody thinking you’re a poor kicker so you have to keep your concentration.

"It’s a skill that you have to work hard at during the week and see what happens at the weekend.

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"It’s the same as a hooker throwing in or a number 10 kicking off, it’s just something that you have to do.

"You have to take what you practise into the game but you will sometimes miss, undoubtedly.

"But there will also be times when the wind will take it over for you and others when you mishit the ball and it still goes over.

"You have to almost detach it from your performance, to be honest.

"It’s a closed skill that you have to keep separate from how you are playing.

"On the other hand you can use it to get into the game if you don’t have too much ball.

"But it’s just another discipline that you have to work hard at."

Paterson admits that the victories over France and England mean there is perhaps less pressure on the Scots to beat Italy, although the Edinburgh player is still keen to finish the tournament on a high.

He said: "There would have been far more tension on our part if both teams had zero wins and we were playing away from home.

"What makes it easier for us is that the media and the supporters who didn’t believe us in previous years when we said that Italy were a good team have seen for themselves in this competition that they are a good team.

"A game against Italy is a real Test match nowadays and as we have seen in this Six Nations competition, it’s difficult for teams to win away from home."

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