Spirit of 2010 can inspire Scotland to victory over Ireland in Dublin
22:31 GMT, 9 March 2012
I’m not one who likes to look back to previous games terribly much, but I’ll make an exception in this case as my last visit to Dublin holds nothing but good memories for me.
Just to remind you, we hadn’t won a Six Nations game that year when we rolled up at Croke Park in 2010 – while Ireland needed to beat us to win the Triple Crown.
As things turned out, a Johnnie Beattie try set us on our way. Then a magnificent last-minute penalty from the touchline in blustery conditions by Dan Parks won us the game. It was a sweet moment for all of us and one I’ll always remember.
Repeat performance: Scotland will hope to perform as they did in 2010
I bring it up because there are similarities between then and now. We haven’t won a Six Nations game this campaign but will run out in the Aviva Stadium –the new name for a renovated Lansdowne Road- still full of confidence, just like we were when we beat Ireland in Dublin two years ago.
We all know it’s about time we started to put together a winning run because five losses in a row dating back to the World Cup simply isn’t good enough. It’s all well and good us being praised for playing good rugby but that’s no consolation to us for losing.
Ireland will be playing their third straight Six Nations game on consecutive weekends and I think that will give us a slight advantage. We had the week off last week when they were taking on France and, although they got a creditable 17-17 draw, it came at a cost.
They will play us without their first choice scrum-half Conor Murray and second row Paul O’Connell – and both will be missed.
Tired Ireland will play their third match in as many weeks against Scotland
From our point of view, it’s the young guns in our team who have excited me and given me so much hope for the future of Scottish rugby.
Stuart Hogg may be just 19 but what a player he is. He’s incredibly exciting to watch. This may be his first Six Nations but he’s not looked out of place and will be a big player for us in Dublin.
With my brother, Rory, breaking his leg in our last match, against the French, I won’t have him around in Dublin to share a room which is a real shame. I had been put in with the props and had a few nights rooming with Ed Kalman. Now I’m in with Euan Murray for the first time and, with his dry sense of humour, the big man is an interesting guy to share with.
Unfortunately, It looks like Rory will be out of action for a couple of months and, although he won’t be in Dublin to support us, he’ll be watching the game on television and no doubt shouting a lot whenever we put some points on the board.
Tough times: Scotland have yet to register a win in the Six Nations
I’m hoping we can give my brother, and the rest of the Scotland fans, something to really shout about from start to finish.
It’s certainly time we did. Although we’re doing really well in open play, we need to take more chances. We’re improving all the time on that front and I’m hopeful we can run in a few tries.
With a bit of luck, I’ll be able to cross the whitewash myself from my favourite position out on the wing. I’ve played both inside and outside centre for Scotland during this Six Nations but I feel more comfortable out wide.
I like the look of our back division, with Hogg at full-back, Nick de Luca and Graeme Morrison in the centre and Lee Jones on the other wing to me. I’m genuinely excited about that unit and feel we’re on the verge of something special.
Time to shine: Sean Lamont (right) believes Scotland are ready to fire
I know there’s pressure on us to win after losing our first three matches but I’d ask the fans to keep the faith. In Andy Robinson we have a top-class coach and we’re all 100 per cent behind him.
On a final note, can I say we were all delighted to have Max Evans back in the squad for the Ireland game. We all knew he must have gone through utter torment during his court case and for him to be found not guilty gave the whole squad a lift.
It’s great to have him back involved and, if and when he comes off the bench, I’m sure he can make a big impression.
Sean Lamont is a GUINNESS Rugby ambassador. Rugby fans can get all the latest news and exclusive footage via www.facebook.com/guinnessgb. Guinness is the official beer partner to the RBS 6 Nations.