Scotland captain Stuart Hogg insists his team cannot wait to get on the field to face Ireland in the Guinness Six Nations clash at Murrayfield.
The Dark Blues have not played for a month since the 25-24 defeat to Wales after their February 28 clash with France was called off following an outbreak of coronavirus in Fabien Galthie’s squad and they are raring to go.
But Hogg believes it is important they do not get ahead of themselves where they can get punished by a team as experienced and talented as Ireland.
The 28-year-old full-back admits it is crucial Scotland take the game minute by minute and do not give Andy Farrell’s side the chance to capitalise on a lack of concentration.
Scotland sit fifth in the Six Nations table and need victory to get their campaign back on track.
Hogg said: “We’re absolutely chomping at the bit to get going tomorrow. It’s been three or four weeks since we last played. That’s a challenge on it’s own with not a lot of boys not having had game time.
“The result against Wales wasn’t what we wanted but we’ve done a lot of reviewing since then and worked incredibly hard on our game. We’re just buzzing, ready to go.”
A solid start is imperative to build a foundation and Hogg wants to see his side on the ball from the first minute.
He added: “Our sole focus is on performing for the first 20 minutes tomorrow and taking it quarter by quarter.
“If we look too far ahead of ourselves, we’re probably going to slip up. We will concentrate to make sure we start the game in the best possible way and hopefully grow in confidence as the game goes on.”
Hogg believes his side can take confidence from a productive spell on the training ground and is relishing the challenge presented by Ireland.
“I think the quality in training has been right up there and it’s given us a huge amount of confidence that we can go out there and implement our gameplan in attack.
“We can really starve teams of possession if we can hold onto it. But defensively we have to front up and make sure we’re physical and we’re dominant in everything.
“The main thing is staying in the moment, breaking the game down to moment by moment and making sure we’re getting it spot on and we can celebrate little victories and come together as a team if something needs fixed.
“Like Ireland we have a huge amount of experience, a huge amount of quality that know fine well how to play rugby.
“I think over the last couple of games it’s the calmest I’ve ever been, it’s the calmest I’ve seen Finn (Russell) and Ali (Price) driving us round the field and we feel that we’re in control at times.
“It’s the moments where we slip up, switch off for five or 10 seconds that you can’t get away with in international rugby.”