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Al Dickinson insists loss to England won't burst Scotland's bubble

Published 07/02/2016

Scotland's Alasdair Dickinson believes the Dark Blues can cling on to their confidence despite losing to England on Saturday
Scotland's Alasdair Dickinson believes the Dark Blues can cling on to their confidence despite losing to England on Saturday

Al Dickinson insists the feel-good factor Scotland built up at last year's World Cup has not been wiped out by Saturday's loss to England.

Scotland ran out at Murrayfield full of hope ahead of their RBS 6 Nations opener after marching to the World Cup quarter-finals last autumn.

But it was the same old story for Vern Cotter's team as they failed to make the most of their openings while Eddie Jones' men claimed a 15-9 Calcutta Cup victory thanks to tries from George Kruis and Jack Nowell.

Scotland have now gone eight matches without a championship win - their worst-ever run in the competition.

But Edinburgh prop Dickinson believes Scotland can still cling onto the confidence they collected at the World Cup and use it to resurrect their campaign.

Asked if his side's self-belief had been sapped away after losing in the capital, Dickinson said: "It's not. It's always hard. The Six Nations is such a massive tournament, it's a long tournament. So we can't get too down on ourselves.

"Obviously we are gutted after Saturday's result but we have to be confident we can go and win games.

"There is no easy way to do that, especially when you lose your opener.

"But we have to pick ourselves up. There's no magic blueprint unfortunately, but it will come. I really believe that."

A trip to Cardiff to face Wales, though, is probably the last place Scotland would have asked to go to while looking to kick-start their Six Nations.

Two years ago they suffered their heaviest ever championship defeat when they were thumped 51-3 under the roof of the recently-renamed Principality Stadium.

It is nine years since Scotland managed even a win over Wales, 14 since their last triumph in the Welsh capital.

But Dickinson tried to maintain an image of positivity as he said: "The Millennium Stadium is a great place to go play. The boys should be excited about going down there."

However, the 32-year-old front-rower knows his side will have no chance of upsetting Wales if they continue to pass up chances like they did against England.

Skipper Greig Laidlaw blamed a series of "dumb" mistakes for letting Jones' team off the hook when Scotland were on top.

And Dickinson admits the Scotland players will have to sit through a candid assessment of what went wrong on Monday morning if they are to rectify their flaws.

"Crucial errors at crucial times made the difference," he confessed. "It's just pretty disappointing.

"There won't be (anything held back). We're a pretty honest bunch. We'll speak to each other and guys who made mistakes will put their hands up.

"They'll be honest and say, 'That wasn't good enough. I'll sort myself out for next week'.

"But we're not going to pick on anyone in particular. We all made mistakes in the game. We just need to get back out on the paddock and sort it out.

"It's a fine line at this level. Just before half-time we were on their five-metre line and gave away a silly penalty. If we'd scored there it could have changed the whole game.

"Those are the little things we need to learn from - although I don't know how many times we are going to say that. If we want to take the next step, though, those are the mistakes we need to eradicate from our game."

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