Jack Dempsey insists it’s unfair to tar the Scotland squad with weak mentality claims after their frustrating Six Nations – but admits it’s time they showed they have learned lessons.

The Glasgow Warriors star was pivotal in his side’s comeback win over Cardiff on Friday night with an inspired second half performance where he led the team from the front.

By his and Franco Smith’s own admission, the team were bullied in the first half by their Welsh opponents in weather conditions that made it even more difficult.

Smith gave his players a talking to at half time when they were 13-0 down and they came out in the second half in much better shape and took the game to Cardiff with two tries in the opening 10 minutes of the second half.

Those scores from Max Williamson and Lucio Sordoni were converted by Duncan Weir, who then added a penalty later in the game to seal a 17-13 win and Dempsey admits he couldn’t deal with losing three on the bounce after losses against Italy and Ireland for Scotland.

He had to show some leadership too with a young team out on the pitch while Matt Fagerson couldn’t last longer than 50 minutes because of illness.

Scotland’s mentality was questioned during the Six Nations and particularly after the Italy defeat but Dempsey insists it’s harsh on the squad, but he does believe they need to start showing they are taking steps forward in their career.

Scotland Rugby News: Franco Smith

He said: “A lot of the stuff that has come out in the last few weeks has been painted with a broad brush, which I don’t normally agree with.

“Every week it’s a different story, a different narrative. Every game is very different. You’ve got to play what’s in front of you. When you’re a player, it’s easy to know when you come out of a game which is disappointing.

“The Rome game was a very different story to what happened in Ireland, to what happened against France at Murrayfield. What we’ve got to grow on is making sure we’re taking the lessons we learn on the Monday and the Tuesday in the review, and making sure it doesn’t happen again.

“In terms of the mentality, I see what the boys do week-in, week-out at training. Whether it’s coming down from a guy like Finn all the way down to a guy like Rory, in terms of the experience spectrum, the boys want to win.

“They work really hard. I think we work harder than anyone else. It’s just about making it happen. That’s what we talked about at the end of the Six Nations - we’ve got a summer tour, then autumn and then another Six Nations.

“It’s time to deliver. That’s what it is. There’s no point talking about lessons if you’re just sitting there learning the whole time. Eventually your career’s over, you’ve learned all these lessons but what do you have to show for it?

“That’s the trajectory we are going at.”

The second half performance from Dempsey showed why he’s such a pivotal player and he was named man of the match on the night.

The swirling wind and rain didn’t help matters but it didn’t stop Smith from making his feelings clear at half time, but the Aussie-born back rower reckons it was key to them coming out in the second half and winning.

He added: “ This is my third season here and that first half was the toughest I’ve ever seen in Glasgow. 

“It was a bit unfair, because when we came out for the second half, they didn’t have to put up with it!

“Was it a 13-point wind? That was probably a bit more than we would have liked, based on Franco’s half-time speech. But we knew it would open up for us in the second half.

READ MORE: Franco Smith admits Glasgow 'bullied' in difficult first half

“Angry Franco is just the same as Monday to Friday Franco, with just a few more swear words. We need that every now and again, especially with the team we had out there on Friday night with a lot of young boys.

“With the conditions and the way Cardiff play - they’re a very physical team, always have been - young boys need that every now and again.

“We’ve a very strong leadership group. The only difference this week was that we had a very young forward pack. Matt Fagerson got subbed early after being sick during the week, then you’re looking around going, ‘who else is here?’

“I’m hesitant to say much - it was more a case of, ‘we’ve lost to Italy, lost to Ireland, I’m not losing again.’ Especially going into a week off.

“I was just trying to rev the boys up and keep them positive, doing my role.”