Scotland will be self-critical and need to make more of their scoring chances, but there will be no change in philosophy or attempt at damage limitation in the daunting trip to Twickenham, says playmaker Finn Russell.
The stand-off was preparing for a tough debrief on the 18-11 loss to Wales at the weekend, believing that Scoptland didn’t make the most of their chances to beat the Welsh.
“I think if we get as much pressure and territory and possession (as that) we need to get more points,” he said. “Our conversion rate when we’re in the 22 will need to go up.
“Looking at the game we had three or four penalties in their 22 in a short period. We could look back and say ‘if we took three points there it would be a different game’, but we were going for the win.
“I think we were good at times. I think the forwards were good as they matched Wales. As backs, we could have been a bit more clinical at times and got a few more points on the board.”
Despite that experience, there’s a still a belief that Scotland’s game plan can breach defences.
“We need to just keep playing the same, the attacking, fast rugby that we’re trying to play. At times against Wales we created a lot of chances, creating edge attacks, three on twos or four on threes.
“We just need to get better at executing those down in the finish zone, getting that killer instinct that we need to win games at this level. But I’m not going to change the way I’m playing.
“We have guys coming in who can fill the spots and play as well, if slightly differently, as the boys we’ve had. I’m not going to change anything, I don’t think the gameplan will change. We’re still looking to play an attacking game of rugby.
“We just need to be hard on ourselves at the right times, look at the negatives and look where we need to get better and be honest with each other. We can’t keep getting close and being happy with that. We need to start turning these games into wins.”
Russell agreed that this week probably matters more to the Scottish support than any other game, and he feels that way too.
“I think it is more important for a Scotsman,” he said. “In the context of the tournament it’s the same as every other game obviously, but it’s different, especially when it’s the last game of the tournament.
“It doesn’t happen often, it’s been so long since we last won down there and it would be massive for us if we could so it, but it wouldn’t make up for the last three games that we’ve lost.
“It would be a good way for us to finish the 6 Nations but it doesn’t make up for the losses. There are things we need to improve and work on.”
He wouldn’t look back on last year’s game, despite the fact that England head coach Eddie Jones appears to have been doing just that.
“It’s all in the past, they’re a different team, we’re a different team. Maybe it’s Eddie being Eddie, I don’t really know him so I’m not sure.
“Surely he’s not holding a grudge from that long ago, but you never know. That doesn’t really involve us as players.
“All we are thinking of is trying to make up for the few games we lost and try to get our best foot forward going back to the club games and going on to the World Cup.”