Six Nations: Scotland attitude 'lacked desire', says Matt Taylor

Matt Taylor questioned Scotland's attitude in the 22-19 defeat to Italy.
Matt Taylor questioned Scotland's attitude in the 22-19 defeat to Italy.

Scotland assistant coach Matt Taylor has questioned the attitude of the players after their defeat by Italy.

Taylor also said the team meeting was not for the faint-hearted as they watched a re-run of the Italy game, referring to it as "brutal."

"Our attitude was really good in the first two games," he said. "It wasn't when we were representing our country against Italy.

"The intensity, the desire, the edge wasn't there."

Scotland have now lost their opening three matches in this season's Six Nations.

"The messages were forceful," said Taylor. "We were just disappointed as a group in how we performed and executed as well as part of the attitude.

"In the first two games, we might have fallen short, our attitude was really good even though we didn't get a result.

"Sometimes sport is a strange thing. You expect them to be up for every game, but sometimes that doesn't occur for whatever reason and I don't think the standard that we've set ourselves as a group was there."

Scotland will be without Sean Lamont (right) for the game with England.
Scotland will be without Sean Lamont (right) for the game with England.

Taylor also rejected the notion that the message from coach Vern Cotter is not getting across to the players ahead of this summer's World Cup.

"Sometimes players are executing it under pressure and fatigue," he said.

"One of the things we talked about today in the review is 'are we getting better with every game, are we learning things from the game'?

"There were certain aspects where we felt that there were some things that we hadn't improved on and we regressed back, so I think it's really important that every game you're improving.

"Vern's done an excellent job in terms of the culture and the way we want to play. There's steps been taken forward, certainly in the autumn and the first couple of games.

"Any team on their day, if you don't front up at 100% you're going to get beaten and unfortunately that's what happened."

Scotland travel to Twickenham on Saturday hoping to end a 32-year wait for a Calcutta Cup win on England's own turf.

"We're going down there to do our best to win that cup," added Taylor.

"We're focused this week on getting the tactics right and the attitude right and putting on a performance that the players can hold themselves and their hands up and be proud of that performance.

"History shows that it's a tough place to win for Scotland. It's going to be tough, we're under no illusions it's going to be tough.

"England and Ireland at the moment are probably the leading two teams. No-one will be giving us a chance, so it's a great game to go into."

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