Blair takes positive outlook

Scotland star Mike Blair claims he is looking forward to analysing last Saturday's loss to Ireland when the squad regather early next week. [more]

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Scotland star Mike Blair claims he is looking forward to analysing last Saturday’s loss to Ireland when the squad regather early next week.

The 26-year-old admits reviews of Scotland’s two previous defeats in the RBS 6 Nations, to France and Wales, made for uncomfortable viewing because of the side’s poor performances.

But Blair believes the display in Dublin was a step in the right direction and he is keen to see where improvements can be made ahead of the next game against England at Murrayfield.

Scrum-half Blair, who captained the side in place of the injured Jason White, said: "I’m looking forward to the video session a bit more this time because there are going to be things there that we can tweak which will improve our performance against England.

"Whereas in the previous two games we haven’t wanted to look back because it has been nightmare kind of stuff – at least there is something to build on now."

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Blair might be encouraged by Scotland’s progress, but he recognises that there is still a long way to go.

He also warns that there is no magic formula for the Scots as they try to dig their way out of a slump in form which has seen them made favourites for a second consecutive wooden spoon.

He said: "It’s frustrating to look back on it (the Ireland game) because even though we played a lot more rugby than we managed in the previous two games, and we had a decent amount of possession and territory, we couldn’t make it count – and obviously that is a concern.

"Confidence is a factor. We have not scored a huge amount of tries in the last four or five games, and you have to get used to crossing the whitewash. Little lapses in accuracy with basic skills have let us down, too. It is a combination of things.

"But we’ve got players within the team who are more than capable of scoring tries – guys who have been scoring tries for fun at club level – so hopefully it is just a matter of waiting for it to all click together.

"Obviously we are hoping we can get everything right against England next weekend. It is a home match and the crowd always get behind us at Murrayfield, especially when we play against the English, so we are desperate to rise to the occasion and really give the fans something to shout about."

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