Matt Fagerson vowed he and his Scotland team-mates would rally together and bid to deliver their potential in their final match of the Guinness Six Nations in Dublin.
Ireland are looking to pip France to the title when they host Scotland on Saturday but Gregor Townsend’s men have a point to prove after struggling to build on the high of their opening victory over England.
Defeats against Wales and France were followed by a 33-22 win in Rome but Italy’s late surge was a warning for Scotland ahead of their trip to the Aviva Stadium.
Fagerson said: “We are focusing on ourselves this week. We know it’s going to be a huge challenge. They are playing for the championship and being at home, they will want to put their best foot forward.
“But focusing on ourselves, what we do well, really coming together tight as a group, will be pretty crucial for us.
“There is a feeling around the group that we still have a lot to deliver, so I think everyone coming together and being tight as a group will be crucial.”
The Glasgow back-row forward feels the late issues in Rome can be rectified quickly.
“In attack we had some really good breaks and really good hustle with boys supporting each other,” the 23-year-old said.
“At times we were maybe a bit frantic in our systems and getting back and ready to play. We will be clearing that up this week.
“The last 15 minutes – from a defensive point of view – was quite disappointing to let in those two tries at the end. They are fixes we can make.
“Credit to the Italians, they were pretty good in that final quarter, but it’s stuff that we can fix.”
Fagerson is accustomed to taking on Irish teams in the United Rugby Championship and knows he is in for a tough test.
“Playing your Leinsters, Munsters, Ulster and stuff, it’s pretty confrontational teams,” he added. “You sort of know what they are going to bring but they do it so well.
“Their gameplan is quite set-piece oriented and they are pretty good at that and they have some great coaches as well.
“You know what’s coming but it’s pretty hard to stop.”
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