Scotland challenged to finish ‘mixed’ Six Nations on a high


Hamish Watson has challenged Scotland to turn a ‘mixed’ Six Nations into a relatively successful one by signing off with a rare win in Dublin on Saturday.

Gregor Townsend’s side have won two of their games and lost two of their games so far and go into the final weekend of the tournament knowing they can’t finish higher than third place in the table, despite entering with high hopes of a title shot .

They face an impressive final game in Ireland, where they have won just once in 2010 in the last 24 years.

However, Watson believes a win against Ireland’s On-Songs would help cast Scotland’s currently unconvincing campaign in a much more positive light.

“I think it’s been a mixed bag of inconsistencies,” said Watson, looking back on his side’s performance so far in the tournament.

“It started really well, so positively (against England) but we didn’t manage to back it up against Wales and that hit our confidence.

“We’ve worked hard in this tournament but I don’t think we’ve done our best so it’s about putting everything together and putting in a performance against Ireland.

“I think if we win away in Ireland, which will be a difficult task, it would be a nice way to round off the tournament.”

Ireland have a chance to win the Six Nations if France slip up against England and have beaten Scotland in each of their last six encounters.

I think if we win away in Ireland, which will be a difficult task, it would be a nice way to round off the tournament

Hamish Watson

“It’s a very difficult place to play,” said Watson.

“It’s a pretty hostile environment but we believe in ourselves and the last time we were there (in the Six Nations) it was decided within a try so it should be a close game.

“Ireland are one of the most in-form teams in world rugby so we look forward to playing with them.”

Much of the pre-game talk revolved around Townsend’s decision to replace Finn Russell with Blair Kinghorn in the stalemate.

The former is considered one of the best No10s in the world, while the latter is relatively untried in the top-level position, having only moved into stalemate this season.

Blair Kinghorn plays for Scotland this weekend (David Davies/PA)

(PA wire)

Watson is a team-mate of Edinburgh’s Kinghorn and has helped the 25-year-old take charge of such an important role at the Aviva Stadium.

“I’ve been playing with Blair since he came to Edinburgh when he was about 18, so I’m really happy for him,” said Watson.

“It’s exciting for him. He’s kind of like Finn in a way because he’s a very laid back guy, very calm and I think that will help him against Ireland.

“I don’t think he’s going to take the opportunity. He’s been great for Edinburgh this season, really exciting so hopefully he can take that to the international stage.” Scotland challenged to finish ‘mixed’ Six Nations on a high

Andrew Schnitker

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