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Peter Horne confident Scotland will bounce back against France

Horne insists the Dark Blues should not be written off as title contenders just yet.

Peter Horne is taking solace from the hope that Scotland cannot again perform as poorly as they did against Wales in Cardiff as they look to salvage their NatWest 6 Nations hopes.

Gregor Townsend’s team were tipped as dark horses for the Championship title ahead of last Saturday’s tournament opener.

But they got off to the worst imaginable start as Warren Gatland’s injury-hit Welsh outfit ruthlessly exploited the Scots’ error-strewn display.

However, Glasgow centre Horne – whose late try prevented the 34-7 scoreline appearing even worse – insists the Dark Blues should not be written off as title contenders just yet.

The 28-year-old believes the horror show at the Principality Stadium was nothing more than a blip – but concedes his side will have to tighten up considerably if they are to bounce back against France at BT Murrayfield on Sunday.

“I’m pretty confident it was a slip as a I can’t see us being that bad again,” he said. “I think there will be a good reaction from the boys as we were all pretty devastated. We’ve got France immediately after it and we are desperate to get another opportunity.

“The 23 boys who are selected this week will be chomping at the bit.

“We are pretty beaten up, we are disappointed and embarrassed by the result and desperate to put things right.

“Can we still win the title? Yes, I believe we can beat anyone in the competition and we’ll be taking it game by game.

“I won’t be chucking it out there with a ‘Peter Horne says Scotland can win the Six Nations’, or anything like that.

“We will be looking to beat France this weekend, we will regroup and try to beat England and then Ireland and then Italy.

“We will try to take it one game at a time. 

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Peter Horne ensured Scotland did not suffer a whitewash with his late try in Cardiff

“We went to Cardiff with a lot of belief. We thought as a squad that we had enough in (us) to go there and get a result. We are gutted just like everyone else and now we need to focus on France and get a reaction.”

Townsend sat his players down on Monday for point-by-point debrief of where it all went wrong in Cardiff.

The so-called “honesty session” was not a pleasant experience but Horne believes it is just what is needed to exercise the ghosts of yet another let down at a venue where Scotland have not tasted victory since 2002.

He said: “It’s not easy to sit in a room after something like that. It is what it is, you just need to suck it up and get on with it.

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Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend led a debrief of his players' display against Wales on Monday

“If anything, it’s the first thing you want to do after a game like that.

“You want to get cracking and start it straight away.

“You want to put it to bed and make sure you’ve got a good plan and prepare for the next game and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“They aren’t easy but you need to be honest with yourself.”

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