Greig Laidlaw: Scotland out to avoid Six Nations embarrassment

By Phil GoodladBBC Scotland
Scotland players looking dejected
Greig Laidlaw says the Scots are frustrated with their results

Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw says picking up the Wooden Spoon in this year's Six Nations would be an embarrassment for Vern Cotter's side.

The Scots host Ireland on Saturday in their final game after four defeats.

"Yes," he replied when asked if finishing bottom would be embarrassing. "We don't want that." He retains the belief that they can defeat the Irish.

"[Ending up last] is not what we set out to do. But we have an opportunity this weekend not to do that."

Scrum-half Laidlaw revealed there had been some frank talking within the squad - and from head coach Cotter - after Saturday's defeat by England.

"Vern's an honest bloke," said the captain. "He doesn't miss when he swings. He's a clever coach and the boys appreciate that.

"They can see themselves some of the flaws in our game and that makes us frustrated as well."

Laidlaw says the Scots, who led 13-10 at half-time at Twickenham, let England off the hook and it was that inability to keep to their game-plan for the whole 80 minutes that had been their downfall during the Six Nations.

Scotland players troop off Twickenham disappointed
Laidlaw thinks the Scots let England off the hook by relaxing at Twickenham

"I have been sitting here most weeks and saying the same things and that's the frustrating thing for me as we've been playing so much good stuff that we are nearly there," he said.

"Having looked back at the videos from the weekend, the players realise we really need to hone in on the things we are doing well and keep doing that.

"We moved away from that at the weekend and maybe relaxed a little bit when in the lead and that cost us.

"As players, we're starting to understand why we have been playing well and why we're falling short and that's the key for me.

"I'll be honing in on that this weekend to make sure we do all the good bits and do it for 80 minutes and, if we do that, I believe we can win the game."

Even if the Scots beat Ireland, they must hope Italy fail to pick up any points at home to Wales if they are to avoid bottom spot.

Laidlaw added the Scots will look to the autumn victories over Argentina and Tonga, and their praised display against New Zealand, for confidence going into the match against Ireland.

"It's a huge game for us and I know the boys are absolutely desperate to get out there, put in a good performance and come away with the win," he said.

"We've got one massive game this weekend that us as a Scotland team and coaches are desperate to win - for the jersey, for ourselves and the supporters, who have been magnificent."