Scotland desperate to avoid wooden spoon
Ross Ford has described how his Scotland team are desperate to make amends for their lacklustre showing in Ireland with a victory in Italy on Saturday to avoid the RBS 6 Nations wooden spoon.
After promising showings, albeit in defeat, against England, Wales and France, Scotland's progress was brought to an abrupt halt by a 32-14 loss in Dublin.
"The boys are just desperate to get a win for all that effort we've put in - we need something to show for it," said Ford.
The result extended Scotland's winless run to six matches, handed head coach Andy Robinson a record of 11 losses in 14 Six Nations fixtures and meant for the third successive year a win on the final weekend of the championship is a must to avoid the ignominy of finishing sixth.
Scotland now require a first win in Rome since 2006 to finish fifth ahead of the Azzurri.
Ford was bullish about his side's prospects and denied the coaching reshuffle at the Scottish Rugby Union was having an on-field impact as Scotland bid to win for the first time since the Rugby World Cup, where they were eliminated at the group stages for the first time.
"I don't think things have gone wrong off the pitch," said the hooker, who described the performance in Ireland as "unacceptable".
"Things on the pitch haven't been ideal but we've shown a lot of improvements from where we were last season.
"We could have had more wins than we have just now, but it's down to our own doing.
"We've had opportunities when we could've won two out of the four games, but as it is we're going to Rome and we need to get this win. It's all in our hands. We've got the game to beat Italy."