Rory Darge called on Scotland to work hard to finish their Guinness Six Nations campaign strongly despite defeat to France meaning they can no longer win the Championship.
Darge impressed on his first start for Scotland despite his side being beaten 36-17 by a France side that remains undefeated in this year’s Championship.
His side now have two matches remaining against Italy and Ireland, and the 22-year-old hooker wants to make the most of them.
“We’ll be working, make sure we take it on board and then see a massive reaction in training,” said Darge.
“That’s how you get a better performance on the pitch is you train at a high intensity, and you work on the things we didn’t do well today.
“We’ve got to take on the chin the things that we didn’t do well enough today, take the hard truths and then we have to see a reaction.
“It’s not how we wanted to play the game, it’s clearly not the performance or the result we wanted but the only people that can make the difference going into these next two games is the players and the staff.
“It’s more important that we look amongst the room and the quality of the players that we’ve got we want to make sure that individually and collectively we get a performance out there that reflects us, and that we can be proud of and that the supporters can be proud of.”
The match was a close affair until France began to pull away just before half time after Scotland had missed a gilt-edged chance for a try with the score 12-10 to France.
“Ultimately, the game comes down to big moments that you have to win,” added Darge.
“When you win test matches, you win more of those moments than the opposition, and the ones before and after half-time are huge on the outcome of the game.
“In those moments we have to be better and we can train for that and we can take the good fortune away from it by the way we perform.
“I think we have them too much transition ball and we gave up too many turnovers. Against a team like that, if you give them transition attack they’re going to kill you and we gave them far too much.”
The result puts Scotland fourth in the standings and unable to win the Guinness Six Nations, but Darge sees the next two games as a chance for Scotland to do themselves justice.
“We need to make sure that we finish showing the best version of ourselves by making sure that looks like a huge performance and reaction in Rome and then going into the last game with the aim to finish off really strongly in the tournament away to Ireland,” said Darge.
“We believe in ourselves but as we’ve seen in the last couple of weeks if we’re not quite at it if we don’t put in an 80-minute performance we won’t get the win.
“It’s hugely disappointing not to be able to go into the last two games of the Championship with something to play for.
“We know the level of competition in the Six Nations is ridiculously high. If you’re not at your very best you won’t win test matches at this level but we know when we’re at our very best we can beat teams, we can beat everyone.”