belfasttelegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Hamilton not concerned by past defeats

Jim Hamilton is refusing to look to the past as Scotland prepare to face Ireland

Scotland forward Jim Hamilton says he has even not even read the record books, never mind let them worry him.

Had the Gloucester lock chosen to take a peak at the chapter detailing the last 13 years of Scotland-Ireland fixtures in the RBS 6 Nations, he'd have learned that the Dark Blues have not managed a victory on home soil since 2001.

But even though he is now in possession of that concerning fact, the 30-year-old insists it will not change they way he approaches Sunday's meeting with the Irish at Murrayfield, and he said: "Until a reporter told me I didn't even realise it was that long. Look, it's another year, another game. We are just looking to go out there, in an isolated game, do what we can to win the game and not worry about the past."

The six foot, eight inch-tall forward will find himself right in the midst of the crucial contact zone on Sunday knowing the team must build on the decent showing from their last match against Italy.

The Scots pack failed to contain a physically-superior England side in their Six Nations opener - crashing to a 20-point defeat as a result - but looked more resolute as they mustered their first win in the tournament since March 2011 by comfortably seeing off Italy 34-10.

Now Hamilton claims the team must compete to a similarly high standard at the breakdown if they are to see off an Irish outfit who have perfected the so-called choke tackle in recent times.

"Everyone in rugby understands the importance of the contact area," he said. "It's a massive part or rugby at the minute.

"The team that dominates the contact area in attack and defence seem to go on and win the game. We struggled in the contact area against England and ultimately lost the game comfortably. We dominated the contact area against Italy and won the game comfortably.

"So there's no grey area there. There will be other facets of the game - scrum, line-out - but as a team we can't look any further than the contact in a place where Ireland have notoriously dominated over the last few years."