Six Nations 2017: Scotland want winning send-off for Vern Cotter

Henry Pyrgos
Henry Pyrgos insists Scotland are a better side than their performance at Twickenham suggests

Scrum-half Henry Pyrgos wants Scotland to banish the memories of their Twickenham horror show and ensure head coach Vern Cotter departs on a high with victory over Italy.

The Scots were annihilated 61-21 as England inflicted a record Calcutta Cup defeat to retain the Six Nations title.

The final match against Italy will be Cotter's last as Scotland head coach.

"Vern has done a great job and we want to go out and show we're better than we showed at Twickenham," Pyrgos said.

"The result was not what we wanted to do for Vern. We're gutted.

"We're a lot better than we showed out there. That's why it's so hard to take.

"I don't think it was the occasion that got to us. A lot of the boys have played in big games before. We just didn't get our job done well enough and that has cost us.

"We know it's hard for the country to take because there was a lot of positivity behind us. We felt that support from the nation. It's just tough right now."

England ran in seven tries in a ruthlessly clinical display against a Scotland side that crumbled under the pressure applied by the hosts, who equalled the All Blacks' world record of 18 consecutive Test victories for a tier-one nation.

The Scots' wretched luck on the injury front continued, with Stuart Hogg, Ryan Wilson and Tommy Seymour all forced off with head knocks, while Hogg's replacement Mark Bennett departed with knee and arm injuries.

Bennett will miss the Italy match at Murrayfield on Saturday, while Hogg, Wilson and Seymour are being treated for concussion and will be subject to head injury protocols to determine their availability to face Italy.

Fly-half Finn Russell and centre Huw Jones, who both suffered knee knocks, and lock Richie Gray, who has a hamstring issue, will also undergo precautionary scans early this week.

Scotland head coach Vern Cotter
Vern Cotter will be replaced by Gregor Townsend in the summer

Much of the build-up to the tournament finale will focus on the curtain coming down on Cotter's reign in charge of Scotland, with Glasgow coach Gregor Townsend taking over in the summer.

Pyrgos says the players will be motivated to give their coach a fitting send-off, even if the Kiwi would prefer to keep the spotlight on his team.

"Vern won't want us focusing on him but it will definitely be something in the background," Pyrgos said.

"We are conscious that we want to finish his reign in the right way. There's still a chance we can finish second so we have to get ourselves up for that.

"Before Saturday we were fifth in the world rankings, so you can see Vern has given guys a lot of confidence and great direction.

"We have one more game under him and we have got to go out there and do the business."

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