Six Nations 2018: Scotland have point to prove to themselves - John Barclay

By Andy BurkeBBC Scotland
Scotland captain John Barclay
Scotland captain John Barclay says the players need to show the display against Wales was a "one-off"
Six Nations Championship: Scotland v France
Venue: Murrayfield, Edinburgh Date: Sunday, 11 February Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, Red Button, Connected TVs, BBC Sport website and mobile app. Listen on BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Sport website and app. Live text coverage on BBC Sport website and app.

Captain John Barclay says Scotland are not motivated to silence their critics when they play France on Sunday, but do have a point to prove to themselves.

The Scots will be looking to atone for a humiliating opening-day Six Nations defeat by Wales when they face the French at Murrayfield.

The team has come in for heavy criticism following the Cardiff loss, but Barclay is unmoved by the backlash.

"We're not going out to prove anyone wrong - definitely not," Barclay said.

"We're just disappointed with the performance and want to prove to ourselves more than anybody that last week's performance was a one-off.

"We were just massively frustrated with the quality of our performance last week so for us it's just about going out there and showing that doesn't represent what we're about as a team.

"We didn't see it coming. We expected a much better performance. There were no indicators in the build-up. But it happened and we're just trying to learn from it."

The alarmingly passive and inaccurate nature of the Scotland performance at the Principality Stadium has caused some to reassess their view of the team's recent progress and their credentials as genuine Six Nations contenders.

Former Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw
Former Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw returns to the starting line-up against France

Barclay, who retains the captaincy despite the return to the starting line-up of former skipper Greig Laidlaw, is confident there will be a positive reaction from his team on Sunday.

"We've got to learn, it's a different competition," said the Scarlets back-row.

"It's a slightly different kind of rugby when you get into the Six Nations. We're just trying to get on with it.

"We know we haven't become a terrible team overnight, just as we hadn't become the best team in the world off the back of the autumn.

"There is still a lot of belief in the team, but we have to go out and put in a performance."

Scotland assistant coach Mike Blair
Scotland assistant coach Mike Blair wants the team to start aggressively against France

The Scots found themselves 14-0 down after 12 minutes against Wales, and assistant coach Mike Blair wants Scotland to reverse that situation and put France, coming off their own opening-day defeat to Ireland, under early pressure.

"We'll always emphasise the start of the game," the former Scotland scrum-half said.

"Against Wales we did have a good first three or four minutes when we looked comfortable on the ball and created a lot of opportunities, but giving away that breakaway try [to Wales scrum-half Gareth Davies] shifted the momentum a little bit.

"Against a French team who are travelling, who haven't had the best success in the last few seasons, it would be good to put some doubt in their mind at the start of the game."

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