Scotland on revenge mission

Scotland hooker Ross Ford

Ford will win his 99th cap when Scotland take on Ireland

Scotland will use the pain of last year’s loss to Ireland as they target a rare Six Nations success in Dublin, says hooker Ross Ford.

Ireland clinched their second successive title 12 months ago with a crushing 40-10 win at Murrayfield.

“We will use last season’s game a little bit for motivation,” said Ford, who will win his 99th cap at the Aviva Stadium.

“It has been mentioned. It would be silly if you didn’t look back at it.”

That record home defeat by Ireland confirmed a whitewash for Scotland in head coach Vern Cotter’s first taste of the tournament.

However, the Scots go into this final weekend one point better off than their hosts after back-to-back wins over Italy and France.

“It was a poor performance from us,” recalled Ford. “But this time we are a far better team than we were then.”

‘Settled squad’


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BBC Scotland’s Six Nations Extra

Scotland were victorious at Croke Park in 2010, making it just two wins on Irish soil since 1998.

“We just want to do ourselves justice by putting in a good performance,” said Ford.

“I think they’re going through a bit of a transition. They have lost a few key members of the squad. But they are still a dangerous team who don’t make too many mistakes.

“We’ve got a fairly settled squad but we tend to focus on what we can do, rather than getting too carried away with the opposition. We understand what their threats are but it always comes back to what we can affect during the game.”

‘Finish on a high’

A third successive win would be Scotland’s best run in the competition since 1996 and Ford hopes to build on the momentum.

“We’ve performed well in the last two games and didn’t make many mistakes in last week’s match with France so we want to continue that form,” said the 2009 Lions forward.

“Everybody want to finish on a high.

“The pressure we put on ourselves as a group is really the only pressure we experience. The standards we want to set is all that really bothers us.”


Ford has started all of Scotland’s Six Nations matches this year

Close to a century

The Edinburgh stalwart is certainly not concerned by his proximity to a century of international appearances.

“There’s nothing special been done yet,” he added. “I’m just going out to play the game like I normally would and put in a performance that I’ll be happy with.

“The 100 caps for Scotland does come up. Folk mention it. But all I can do is perform to the best of my abilities and do my bit as part of the team.

“If that leads to more caps, then so be it. It’s not a target or anything. I just enjoy playing for my country.”

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