Steve Tandy reveals Scotland have taken a “tough” assessment of their devastating defeat to Italy

Steve Tandy revealed Scotland have analyzed Saturday’s devastating Guinness Six Nations defeat to Italy “hard” in order to find an answer to title-chasing Ireland this weekend.

The Scots’ championship hopes went up in smoke in Rome as they blew a 22-10 lead and lost 31-29 to an Azzurri side who, despite their supposed improvement, had not won a single game in the tournament since 2022.

Defense coach Tandy revealed that the players and coaches had a candid debriefing on Monday as they tried to iron out the problems that cost them dearly at the Stadio Olimpico.

“Obviously a lot of frustration and disappointment, a lot of looking at ourselves and what we’ve done,” he said on Tuesday afternoon as he gave an insight into the mood in the Scottish camp since the collapse in the Eternal City.

“Italy is a good team, but when you look back there are definitely things we could and should have done better, so we did a lot of introspection.

“It was a pretty quiet place after the game and when I arrived on Monday the review was overwhelming. The boys thought, they looked at the footage, they gave their own feedback.

“We had a pretty good meeting – as good as it can be after a loss.”

Tandy felt Scotland were unusually “soft” defensively in Italy, but refuted claims that they lacked the mental toughness to deal with adversity.

“We had moments where we came together again, like in Wales when we got the momentum back at the end of the game and got the win,” he stressed.

“Against England we were 10-0 down after the disappointment in the previous game against France where everyone said we should have won the game. For us to get over that and beat England shows we have the mental capacity to do these things.”

“But it’s always a work in progress, there’s always room to learn and grow. These losses hurt and make us ask questions about certain things, but at the end of the day we have a huge game coming up on Saturday so we can’t think about it for too long.

“We will lose momentum in Ireland. No team goes there and dominates. We will be under pressure for most of the game and we have to deal with that.

“We have dealt with this in many competitions. There are moments when we can’t cope, but we continue to learn how to deal with these situations more consistently.”

Scotland’s defeat in Italy effectively cost them the chance of a title decider against Ireland in Dublin, but they still have a chance of claiming a Triple Crown for the first time since 1990 if they can beat the team they beat at the World Cup dismantled the cup with 36:14 in October.

“To be honest, I forgot about it (the Triple Crown) after Saturday night,” Tandy said. “But we’re playing for a trophy – I don’t know how many years it’s been since we’ve played for a trophy.

“That’s the beauty of sport, the fact that you can go down at the lowest of lows, but now we have the potential to go to the highest of highs, which is exciting for us.”

“We know we have to play really well to get what we want, but it’s a game where anything can happen.”

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