Rugby

Scotland will use Italy humbling as fuel in bid for Triple Crown – Rory Darge

Scotland have a chance of defeating Ireland, England and Wales in a single championship for the first time since the 1990 Five Nations.

Scotland’s Rory Darge
Scotland’s Rory Darge Scotland’s Rory Darge (Brian Lawless/PA)

Scotland co-captain Rory Darge hopes channelling the dejection of a shock defeat to Italy can help topple title-chasing Ireland and clinch an overdue Triple Crown.

Gregor Townsend’s side run out in Dublin on Saturday seeking to salvage silverware from a Guinness Six Nations campaign which disastrously unravelled in Rome.

While Scotland retain an extremely slim chance of snatching the title, the consolation of defeating Ireland, England and Wales in a single championship for the first time since the 1990 Five Nations appears to be the realistic extent of their ambitions.

“Coming here to get a result is going to be a tough ask but we’ve got a lot to play for,” Darge said at the Aviva Stadium on Friday afternoon.

Scotland were humbled in Rome
Scotland were humbled in Rome Scotland were humbled in Rome (Adam Davy/PA)

“It’s 30-odd years since the Triple Crown for a Scottish team and obviously after a loss like last weekend, the first thing you want to do is get back out there and put things as right as you can. That’s what we’re looking forward to.

“The fuel is the result (against Italy, a 31-29 defeat). The fuel is how gutted we were after the game. It was a quiet changing room.

“A tough weekend to process what went on but that’s the fuel for me – and the Triple Crown.

“The opportunity to come to Dublin and beat one of the best teams in the world, that’s enough motivation.”

PA graphic
PA graphic PA graphic (Press Association Images)

Scotland must beat Ireland with a bonus point and deny their opponents one while overturning a 76-point deficit in points difference to have a chance of finishing top of the table.

That improbable scenario seems even more unlikely given the reigning champions have won 13 of the last 14 meetings between the nations and are chasing a 10th success on the spin.

Glasgow flanker Darge insists the Scots have “full belief” they can cause problems for Andy Farrell’s men.

“Tomorrow, all we can do is focus on ourselves and then hopefully prove something for you,” he told reporters.

“In recent years, it’s not been the case but we’ve got full belief that if we do everything we can we’ll put the pressure on them. Every moment is going to be huge.

“If you aren’t in a moment or you switch off, they’re likely to make you pay for it.

“That’s an area that we have had a lot of growth and there’s still an area of growth for us – staying in every moment and the mental space of it.

“They seem to be able to deal with a lot that’s thrown at them.

“We just need to focus on what we can do better from the Italy game but also what we think might put them under a bit of pressure.

“We’ve had a lot of learnings as you can imagine over this last week and it’s just about putting it out there.”