Southwell remains focused
Hugo Southwell insists Scotland have not got carried away after the excitement of beating arch-rivals England.
Last Updated: 14/03/08 6:18pm
Hugo Southwell insists Scotland have not got carried away after the excitement of beating arch-rivals England in last weekend's Calcutta Cup clash.
Despite the victory, Frank Hadden's men face a Wooden Spoon deciding match with Italy on Saturday, and the Scottish full-back admits he and his team mates have under performed in this years campaign.
"I don't think there was ever any danger of us getting carried away with ourselves," said Southwell.
"To put it in perspective, all we have to do is look at the Six Nations table.
"We have won one out of four games, we've been disappointing in three matches in a row.
"We have put in one performance that has given us all a bit of a lift, however we are still near the bottom of the table despite starting the tournament believing that we could end up somewhere near the top."
The Edinburgh player is hoping for an improved attacking display when the Scots grace the Stadio Flaminio on Saturday.
"We'll hopefully get some nice weather so we can play some good rugby and score a few tries against Italy, but we're not going to get over-excited," said Southwell.
Successful and attractive
"As we have already seen in this tournament the Italians are a pretty handy outfit - especially at home - so we've got to stick to our game plan.
"We need to play with an integrated game plan.
"You want to be able to entertain the supporters, but if you look at any team in the world which has a reputation for playing both successful and attractive rugby, you will see that they only start throwing the ball about once they have broken the gain line.
"It is about getting the balance right, and that's why we are lucky we have two great players like Mike (Blair) and Mossy (Chris Paterson) at scrum-half and stand-off.
"They'll be able to weigh up the situation and make the right decisions for the team."
Southwell revealed his delight at last weekend's remarkable win, however his joy had more to do with the boost to morale the result gave the team, rather than any resentment he feels towards Scotland's oldest rivals.
"Everyone in Scotland wants to see us beat England, there's a whole lot of historical and cultural reasons for that," he said.
"But from the player's point of view, the real bonus was that we got the better of a team which reached the World Cup final last year and has achieved an enormous amount of success in recent years.
"Even though the weather meant it was never going to be a carnival of running rugby, we played with the sort of purpose and control that you need to create a platform for the backs to do their stuff."